A few years ago, Qing posted this riddle on the Mugs’ group chat. Cel posted the answers before I attempted to solve it; and because I accidentally caught a glimpse of what she posted, in a fit of arrogant Rei, I decided to solve it in my head. Think it took me a few days or so to do so because I kept forgetting the facts, but boredom at work eventually led to success.

Literally just stumbled upon the puzzle again, and thought: why not try doing it mentally again?

The first thing I did (then and now) was to try and imagine the row of houses, and assign them colours because it’d give me a framework to begin with. Made sense, until I read: “The green house is on the immediate left of the white house.” which isn’t a problem. Pretty simple to understand, yes?

No. Because my brain is fucked up in its direction sense. So when I read that statement, in my head the image was:

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I’m pretty sure if I did this on paper, I would have drawn it exactly the same way.

For most of my life, I’ve always believed that I had a shit sense of what was left/right – because I often remember getting them mixed up. But after an exercise in LCC a year ago, I realised that it wasn’t that I didn’t know what left/right was, it was that my brain enjoys drawing little imaginary faces on everything so that all objects end up facing me instead.

Like this:

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In which case, it would make perfect sense to say that: The green house is on the left of the white house. Because if you imagine the houses as people facing you, that’d be how you would describe their positions (right?).

And now I’m really annoyed because it’s interfering with my ability to solve the problem in my head. I’ve no idea how I did this when I was 19 because as far as I know, I’ve always been doing this face thing subconsciously; so did I mix up the directions, or was I not a weirdo about this then?

Also: tried to not imagine the faces, but then got really confused because I remember solving the puzzle by mentally drawing houses and then constructing an imaginary table under them to slot in the different items that each house had. So I tried doing that this time, but if I have the table, it reinforces the smiley faces even more, which screws up the direction all over again.

Ugh, this is the worst. Back to thesis, I guess.