(apologies for a slightly snarky answer, but): the fact that most lego sets *come with building instructions* seems to indicate the answer is "yes"
you're probably above-average in ability to intuit connections.
I know I used the "wedge a plate edge-ways between the rows of bumps" technique frequently as a kid, and didn't know it was stressing the plastic.
For me Lego bricks are just buildig bricks that i bought in neutral packages for prototyping purposes. So i have to say i dont know which instructions are sold with the kits for building specific models and how much fantasy and creativity the people who buy specific kits do have outside of them
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