Humans love mysteries.
We love to seek information, gain knowledge, solve puzzles, make discoveries, come up with explanations and formulate answers.
I knew that about myself, but I wasn’t aware that kind of curiosity is an integral part of human nature until I read this article while researching background for this piece about my little Good Friday quiz on the Friends of Mississippi Mills Facebook page.
The article is chock full of interesting facts that explain why we love mysteries and solving puzzles like this one. It says, for example:
“The promise of knowledge is alluring,’ says psychology professor Kou Murayama of the University of Reading, and the head of its Motivation Science Lab. ‘We evolved in a way that makes us attracted to missing information, or to things that we do not know… knowing information is adaptive for animals’ survival… You need to know where the food is, who is reliable, etc.’ The curiosity that drives us to learn the solution to a detective story can be understood as ‘a generalization of the basic motivation to seek information’ (Kidd & Hayden, 2015).”
The Good Friday quiz comprised images of the quintet of puppets pictured above accompanied by a question: which one of the five doesn’t belong? It was a follow-up to a previous quiz in which I shared five images and asked what they had in common. That too, was an interesting exercise.
Of the 18 people who responded this time, eight said Big Red didn’t belong. Of those, four specifically mentioned her/his eyes and Victoria Miller pointed out that Red was not clothed (that one made me chuckle). These answers are correct. They are also not based on the criteria I had in mind.
Four people said Gloria was the odd one out.
“Gloria has eyelashes. And no ears,” commented Robin Jones. Robin is correct, Gloria does have eyelashes and she doesn’t have ears, or at least not ears that are visible in the picture. There may be some under her pigtails. I will investigate and come back to you on that.
“…the rest seem to be dogs and I don’t really think Gloria is!” commented Kristy Bennett. Kristy is also correct. Gloria is a gopher and the other four are dogs. So in that sense, Gloria is indeed different from the rest of the group.
But the only commenter to guess my ‘correct’ answer — and it pains me to say it — is Allan B-is-for-Brown. On the plus side, he had the right answer for the wrong reasons.
Allan B-is-for-Brown correctly identified Mitzy as the odd animal out. But when I asked him why he had chosen her, he said because her photo was ‘not as crystal clear’ as the others. That may be true, which would make him technically correct, but it wasn’t the criteria I had in mind. A fine line to be sure, but a line nevertheless.
Mitzy (on the far left in the picture above), is the only one of the five puppets who does not have a role in Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Basketballs. Poor Mitzy. And ironically, Big Red, who got the most votes as the outsider has the biggest role, despite the fact that he is rarely actually seen in the play.
If you’re reading this, then you, like me, are one of those millions of humans who love to solve mysteries and find solution to puzzles, which means you should be buying a ticket to Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Basketballs. It’s guaranteed to keep you guessing the whole way through and the ending is truly unexpected. Trust me.
© 2022 Susan Macaulay. I invite you to share my poetry and posts widely, but please do not reprint, reblog or copy and paste them in their entirety without my permission. Thank you.