1.2. A man lives on the twelfth floor of an apartment building. Every morning he takes the elevator down to the lobby and leaves the building. In the evening, he gets into the elevator, and, if there is someone else in the elevator -- or if it was raining that day -- he goes back to his floor directly. However, if there is nobody else in the elevator and it hasn't rained, he goes to the tenth floor and walks up two flights of stairs to his room. (MH, from How Come?)
1.2 answer: The man is a midget. He can't reach the upper elevator buttons, but he can ask people to push them for him. He can also push them with his umbrella. I've usually heard this stated with more details: "Every morning he wakes up, gets dressed, eats, goes to the elevator..." In the other direction, for a shorter problem statement, leave out the "someone else in the elevator" and "if it was raining" parts, and just say on his return to the building he always goes to the tenth floor. Ron Carter suggests a nice red herring: the man lives on the 13th floor of the building.
1.2a. Variant: Emily regularly visits the twelfth floor of an apartment building by going to the tenth floor and walking up two flights of stairs. Last year she only took the elevator to the ninth floor. (Math for Girls)
1.2a answer: Emily is a child; she can only reach the tenth-floor button, and last year she could only reach the ninth-floor button.