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Why or how does this puzzle work?

Victor_R asked
1 Endorsement
Last Modified: 2014-06-15
Translated from Spanish, so bear with me:


Try this exercise. The answer is very surprising and curious. It's a trial of the strangeness of thought and functionanlity of our brains. The result is surprising.

Have you ever asked yourself if your spirit is normal or different? Well, the following exercise of reflection will reveal the answer.

Simply follow the instructions, answering the questions one by one (mentally) and as quickly as possible. Do not procede without having answered a question. You will be suprised.










Now quickly think of a tool and a color!


Are you thinking about a RED HAMMER? If not, you are part of the 2% of the population that does not.


This didn't work for me. Did it work for you? Why does it work? Points for a satisfactory explanation.
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I must admit I am always intrigued by these types of things.  I didn't work for me either, I also said blue hammer, but I don't even consider myself 50% normal.  I have no idea how they work, and to be honest I don't really want to know as it would take the fun out of them.

Enabbar OcapEmbalsamador

Sorry, I had screwdriver and orange.
I do know that 'orange' was there because I did one of these quizzes a while ago that asked for a vegetable, the most popular answer to that was 'carrot', so I was thinking of a carrot most of the way through. When asked suddenly for a colour I used the colour of the carrot. Maybe screwdriver was a similar shape to a carrot or perhaps it's just a tool I use fairly often (screwdriver not carrot).
Or maybe I'm just one of those 2%  :7)

I got RED SICKLE. Maybe it's a subliminal democratic-to-communist conversion tool. Or maybe I just a comm... No, that’s not right.
Adam LeinssSystems Administrator

Wow, I did think of a Red Hummer.  Weird!
Adam LeinssSystems Administrator

Hammer, not Hummer ;)


This is very strange!! I also thought "blue hammer". Seems most people in EE are strange...
>>Hammer, not Hummer ;)

Sure it was. :D


What I'm trying to figure out is that a blue hammer is not a common object. Neither is a red hammer. If we thought of "a tool and a colour" in that order, lets say we pictured a hammer first. Wouldn't the hammer tend to be a normal hammer colour, such as grey, or black? It's as if the picture we have in our heads changes colours when we see "think of a colour".
Maybe because through out the preceding portion of the "quiz" we were putting two parts of the equation together - and since we were doing it quickly - our minds kept on "adding" when we got to the tool/colour portion.

???? - only theory.
andyalderretired saggar maker
Distinguished Expert 2019

You would need a Spaniard to explain how it works.

My guess is that the pronounciation of those numbers in Spanish (or the pronounciation of the answers) puts you in mind of a red hammer by having similar sounds and word associations. I don't think it can work in translation.



Why would you need a Spaniard? It worked here after I translated it and various people tried it...

I think the numbers just clear your mind. I don't think there is any significance to the sums specifically.


Thanks for the input everyone.


Take a look here for another of my questions that isn't getting much response. It looks like some TAs are really deserted.


The math is irrelevant
123+5 is a hammer, visualizing it the +5 is the head the 123 is the handle.
123 = RED is a three lettered colour, those who see a different colour visualized the hammer in colour and possibly a hammer they are familiar with, although I have never seen a blue hammer!
The screwdriver people look at the + and see a philips head screwdriver tip.
The sickle or sythe people are looking at the 5 and are probably familiar with farming.
those that see any other tools ....... yeah right, don't like being labelled predictable eh? *Exception - Dentists and those who work with other tools specifically designed in that shape.
One would be lucky to even be able to visualize a tool if presented with only the totals, try it
Dark Cash register? whatever your answer is it is correct, 128 is more like a vegetable wouldn't you say like a 66 is a carrot?
The question that needs to be asked is not "why or how does this work"? but more "what possible use would this information be"?

The purpose of these kinds of tests is to usurp the part of the conscious mind, that thinks to protect itself or mistrust others, by way of subconcious suggestion.
This is achieved by preparing the conscious mind to a state of predictable sincerity or naiveté. Subjects would be asked a series of questions in order to prime their conscious mind to a point of presenting a false sense of security.
The subject would then be asked the hum dingers in order to produce answers that would suit the purposes of the examiners.
It may be fun to try a couple on your friends in order to exploit their vulnerability, however there can be a much more sinister agenda attached to these things.

I answered this.  I answered with a red wrench.  

I think the numbers are irrelevant.  I see no reason why adding up certain numbers would put a specific tool or color in mind unless there were some word association (for example, a bunch of 2s might make one think of blue since they rhyme).

I have a conjecture for why red is so popular.  I think of toolboxes as being red.  I'm not sure if that is universal, but it certainly makes an impact.  I do agree with the hammer being so common that it comes to mind.  I couldn't tell you why I thought of a wrench.

I got red hammer too.

But wait!

My first language is Persian. I've born and live in Iran & I imaged red color and a hammer in Persian in my mind. These words in Persian are absolutely different from English or Spanish.
So I think this test is just exhaust and clear the brain then ppl just imagine the most common color and tool. So it’s not about the shape or pronounce of the numbers in the puzzle.

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