Roger von Oech

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Roger von Oech

1. The woman is a fire fighter. While putting out a fire in the gallery, she sprayed water and fire-retardant on several of the paintings, This damaged them, but also prevented the destruction on the entire gallery.

2. Chelsea spends her break sharpening her ax.

Tony D. Clark

1 - The woman is an art connoisseur and an Indiana Jones-type adventure. She has discovered that the paintings in the gallery are fakes, but the owners will not listen to her. Only after she destroys the fakes and the owners prepare to have her arrested, do they take the time to listen to her story of finding the originals in a recent excursion.

2 - Chelsea is an android.

Okay, maybe not plausible, but fun :)

Nedra Weinreich

1. The woman, who gave her family's heirloom paintings to the gallery to sell for them, just came from her dying grandmother's bedside. Her grandmother's last words were that the paintings were forgeries, but hidden in a secret compartment under each canvas were envelopes containing millions of dollars. The woman rushes to the gallery, uses her exacto knife to slice through the canvases and extracts the money, which the gallery owner splits with her.

2. The trees that Chelsea is cutting down are smaller than the large ones Tiffany is tackling, so she is able to get through a higher quantity of trees while working at the same pace.


1. it's the woman's art in the gallery - destroying the pieces is part of the exhibit.

2. chelsea either has:
16 arms, or
a chainsaw.

Jason HOlmes

1) you got me

2) it takes 2 to work a lumberjack's saw. They cut a tree down in 50 minutes. The next 10 minutes Tiffany spends setting up for the next tree while Chelsea takes a break. Maybe they switch every other day to make things fair.


1. initially I too thought her damage would be considered part of the exhibit, otherwise it was a set up and the owner is thankful to get the insurance, or his revenge on an artist. Or perhaps she exposes the artist's (or artists') work as fraudulent by revealing the under-layers of the painting.

2. Tiffany is disabled/challenged in some way and works harder to prove her competency despite her limited workload capacity. OR Tiffany is a newly working, single Mom just back in the work force and out of shape. OR Chelsea drinks copious amounts of coffee, or maybe Chelsea takes some drug for athletic enhancement. OR Chelsea is the Provincial Highlands Games champ. OR a combo of the aforementioned.

This is fun!


1. "Grave damage" is actually a French art term meaning burying artwork in a vault or tomb to protect it from harm. In this case, an earthquake was in progress when the woman rushed in, grabbed the paintings, and buried them quickly. Later, the gallery owners rewarded her for her resourcefulness.
2. Tiffany is using an ax. Chelsea is using a feller buncher.


1. I can't do better than the firefighter answer, except that it would surely be wrong to reward someone for doing their job. You could fix the question by saying that the owner effusively thanks her. If that won't do, then she is a restorer who reveals even more valuable art works that have been painted over.

2. Chelsea chooses smaller trees.

john alwyine-mosely

1. The owner was unsure if employees were selling the real paintings on the side, so he staged this attack to see how they would react (he had swapped them the night before). They reacted in a way that tipped him off that they were stealing so the woman was rewarded

2. The man was getting a divorce and the paintings were part of his ex-wife’s award. Wrecking them was a revengeful pleasure.

3. The woman is the wife of the local Dictator, she wrecked them out of a tantrum that art was displayed suggesting her paintings were bad(they are) so the owner had no choice but to give her money or he would loose his life.

4. The owner had just joined a local religious sect that despises wealth so to test him, they have wrecked his valuable paintings. He now knows that his conversion is genuine so gives her the rest of the money so he can devote himself to his vow of poverty.

5. The owner had discovered that they were fake, so arranged for them to be damaged so he could get the insurance. So the payment was a payoff.

1. They are working with different trees, so Tiffany chops down pines and Chelsea chops down Christmas trees. She may do more but Tiffany has the greatest volume

2. Chelsea’s breaks allow her work fast for the rest of the 40 minutes whereas Tiffany gets slower by the hour

3. Tiffany is a woman but Chelsea is a man undergoing a sex change and is at the stage of adopting a woman’s life style to convince the psychologist that she is serious

4. They work at different historical time periods, one is in the 19th century(covering for her husband as they need the money) using a chopper, and the other works in the 21st Century using a power saw.

Roy Blumenthal

1. The gallery's owner, the artist, and the woman who does the damage are all the same person. The high prices on her artworks are all a massive publicity stunt, as is her self-vandalism. She rewards herself later that afternoon when she reads about her antics in the newspapers and blogs.

2. Tiffany cuts down fully grown trees. Chelsea fells saplings.


Tiffany works alone. Chelsea overseas a team of workers.

Blue skies

Michael Herzog

1) The woman has some superpower that increases her aggressiveness when she senses fakes.

2) Chelsea doesn not completely cut the trees, she lets time do the rest of the work while she is resting.

Roger von Oech

WOW! Hats off to you. I'm really impressed with the imagination shown in your comments. So many options that I never thought of.

All the more reason to "look for the second (and third and fourth) right answer" when problem solving and dealing with these types of exercises.

Tim Bergerhofer

The woman is a seedy, ex-con type who has consipred with the gallery owner to damage "fakes" in order to collect on a very lucrative insurance policy. The woman is given her follow-up payment to ensure she completed the job.

During her 10 minute breaks, Chelsea sizes up the trees and makes strategic plans to fall the trees with the most efficiency.

Andrew Berg

1) By damaging the artwork, she is able to prove that it was made with modern materials and therefore forgeries. By analyzing the revealed materials, that afternoon the forger was identified and the originals were recovered.

2) Chelsea uses the ten-minute break to put gas in her chainsaw.

(I must admit that I really like my answer to #2!)

John Koetsier

Bleh, I need to come right away when you post so I don't have to do a me-too comment.

However, a couple of ones that havent' been mentioned for the second scenario:

1) Chelsea is an expert logger; Tiffany is a newbie.
2) They get paid by the tree, not the hour, and Chelsea has hired her son to help. Even though she pays for her helper out of her own pocket, she still earns more.

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