Write it down, seal it in an envelope, put it in a safe place, and open it after 50 years. Then, if it's not solved itself by then, seal it in another envelope for 50 more years. It's sure to be solved by then.
Well, I'd never actually tried the method, but something special happened today that I just have to tell. The story began, if I remember correctly, in 1949, more than 60 years ago. I was taking a bookkeeping class in high school, and on the first day, the teacher started off by saying:
"Bookkeeping is the only word in the English language that has 3 consecutive double letters."
Being a wise-ass young kid, I raised my hand and said, "I know another one."
Startled, she asked, "And what's that?"
That got a few laughs from the students, and put me on her s-list for two semesters.
Still, after all this time, that's about the only thing I remember from that bookeeping class--mostly because I kept seeking another 3-double-letter word, on and off for all that time.
Well, today I was working on a mystery novel with some prison scenes, and I came up with the kind of word I was seeking. It was prison slang for the warden:
(Dani says it could also be the name of the person who guards shepherds' equipment.)
MORAL: Virtually any problem will be solved if you work on it for 50+ years. So, never give up, but sometimes delay.
If you like solving problems, and don't always have the patience to wait 50 years, you may shorten your solution time if you start with a better problem definition. You'll be able to do that if you read one or more of the books pictured here. Take a look at http://www.geraldmweinberg.com
I guess I should also post a contrasting story about the quickest problem solving effort:
About 5 seconds after I posted this blog, I got a tweet from "@perze" saying:
Hello Mr. Weinberg i don't want to sound like a wise-cracker but "bookkeeping" was misspelled in your last post.
Good for your @perze!
Fixing this post also gave me a few seconds to come up with a couple more 3-double-letter words:
1. When my Aunt Minnie used to visit, my father gave me the task of keeping my cousin Larry out of his sight. In doing that, I was the schnookkeeper.
2. When fishing, I was put in charge of guarding the tackle, so I was the hookkeeper.