When my old dog and I had a regular local park, upon entering, she used to immediately run through all the bushes, hoping to flush out any squirrels. She didn't know if there were any squirrels there—she just knew that half the time she ran through the bushes, squirrels would appear. What is the word for what she was doing? A recce? Not exactly, it was specifically pro-active.
I'm looking for an action: To make some noise/activity in order to flush out something, to make something appear—so as to get a look at what is there. Maybe like the servants do when they bang things in order to scare the pheasants into the sky so that their lords and masters can shoot them. But not exactly like that; it has to contain the concept that it's a gamble, a guess, that there may be something there but you're not sure.
I'd like to be able to use the word in a general sense or to describe coming up with an idea/theory/plan/project designed to make a solution manifest itself even though you had no idea what it was, or even if there was one.
Let's think of a sentence:
My project was designed to _____ a solution.
Sniff out a solution, rout out a solution, flush out a solution - actually: to set up the conditions whereby a solution may appear. Another example: UV light causes genetic mutations which means that there is more chance of a useful mutation appearing. What is UV light doing? But it's also got to work for what my dog was doing.
Can anyone help? Even a German word would be good....