Five Minute Mystery Solution

In which the exciting conclusion of the five-minute mystery is revealed!

And now for the exciting conclusion to last week’s post!

In that post I gave the following five-minute-mystery:

A man walks into a bar and orders a drink. Instead of giving the man a drink, the bartender points a gun at him. The man says “thank you” and leaves the bar.

The gist of five-minute mysteries is to figure out the unusual circumstances which could lead to such an event. Because I like suspense, I didn’t give out the answer last week, which I’m remedying now. (highlight the “hidden” text in the brown box to see the answer)

The man had the hiccups.

As I talked about last week, I think these five-minute mysteries are made more difficult because of our tendency to assume that the person’s behavior is rational, when it often isn’t. Combine that with some wacky context that we find the person in, and it’s darn near as difficult to figure out these things as it is to design.

Published: September 28th, 2004