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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

Nine Dots

The nine dots puzzle is a classic brainteaser: the objective is to link all nine dots using four straight lines or less, without lifting your pen (or pencil, or finger) from the paper and without retracing any lines.

If you haven't seen this puzzle (pictured above) before, go ahead and try it before reading any further... I'll wait.






Did you get it?

There are actually a few different ways to solve the puzzle, but they all have one thing in common: in order to complete the task, at least one of the lines needs to extend beyond the confines of the box containing the nine dots.

In other words, you literally need to, "think outside the box" to solve the nine-dots puzzle, which as it happens, is how that expression became popular.

Unfair? Not really... when explaining the brainteaser, I didn't mention anything about the lines having to stay within the box. If you thought that had to be the case, it was an assumption you made... and a limit you placed upon yourself.

It's amazing how often we put limitations on ourselves that don't actually exist.

- dp

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