Saturday, September 29, 2012

18 Days with Sherlock - Day 8 – Process of Elimination

If you don’t have the answer to your puzzle, start eliminating the things that it can’t be. For example, let’s say you are trying to figure out which Smith man married your Mary Jones but there are 8 Smiths in the area during the same time period. Start out by eliminating those Smiths who CAN'T be the right one. This will narrow down the people you have to do more extensive research on to get at the truth.
“Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth.” [Holmes to Watson, "The Sign of the Four"]
"But we hold several threads in our hands, and the odds are that one or other of them guides us to the truth. We may waste time in following the wrong one, but sooner or later we must come upon the right.” [Holmes to client Henry Baskerville, "The Hound of the Baskervilles"]
“We must fall back upon the old axiom that when all other contingencies fail, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” [Holmes to Watson, "The Bruce-Partington Plans"]
“That process starts upon the supposition that when you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. It may well be that several explanations remain, in which case one tries test after test until one or other of them has a convincing amount of support.” [Holmes to Colonel Emsworth, "The Blanched Soldier"]

Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis

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