What Puzzle Should I Get My Child?
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Teachers College Columbia University – New York, NY
Yesterday I stumbled across this logic puzzle. What always drives me crazy about stuff like this is that no one ever discusses the answer. I want to know how someone arrives at the answer. What fascinates me is thinking, not trivia or secrets. Here’s how I found the answer. I don’t recall ever seeing this puzzle before and did not google it until I’d proven the results to myself.
The puzzle is difficult, but I’ve posted answer at the end of the post, so you’ve been warned. 5 matrix of attributes then started highlighting and crossing out relevant details. Intuitively, I knew it all came down the Norwegian. This because we know he has only one neighbor.
Everyone else can have one or two neighbors. The Puzzle: There are five houses in a row in different colors. In each house lives a person with a different nationality. The five owners drink a different drink, smoke a different brand of cigar and keep a different pet, one of which is a Walleye Pike. The Brit lives in the red house. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
The green house is on the left of the white house. The green house owner drinks coffee. The person who smokes Pall Malls keeps birds. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhills. The man living in the house right in the center drinks milk. The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
The man who keeps horses lives next to the one who smokes Dunhills. The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house. The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water. The data seems to break down into two types: Definitive data, that which defines an attribute directly within one unit.
And relational data, which defines an attribute relative to another unit. Relational data often acts as a negating definition as well, showing what isn’t in a unit by describing what’s nearby. The fourteenth clue is one of the most important. Number 4 is a tricky one, there is no reason to believe that the green house is the first house, all we know is that the white house is on it’s left. Also, clues 9 and 15 could be referring to one or two neighbors. It’s interesting that the clues sort out into three quintuplets. Here’s where it starts to get really hard.
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All that is known for certain is what was defined in questions 1-3, 10 and 13. There remain three or four unknowns for each unit. What I’m looking for is the first link in a causality chain. Of course it’s probably not so much a chain as a loop, so looking for an end is futile.
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WARNING: THE ANSWER IS REVEALED BELOW The green house drinks coffee. So the center house is not green. But the Green house is on the left of the white house. Since we know the second house is blue, we then know that the first house is not green either. So the only place the green house can be is fourth, making the 5th white.
Now is the first yellow, or is the first red? The elimination steps above provide the answer. We know the Norwegian is in the first house, and the Brit is in the Red house. That means the Brit is in the red house in the middle, drinking milk, and the Norwegian’s house is yellow and he smokes Dunhills. At this point, the whole things starts to fall together.
Clue 11 puts horses in the blue house. Clue 15 puts Blends in the second house, and, with clue 9, water and cats in the first house. The German has the fish and drinks coffee in the green house, which is fourth on the block. I don’t think it’s particularly fair to go posting the answers to this puzzle. Some people will have spent a long time working on the answer, and you’ve just negated all those people’s efforts.
Im very impressed with how you got the answer. However, I figured it out within seconds after reading the riddle. I knew it was the German because Einstein was German. I tell jokes about Polish people because I myself am Polish! The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. This is not a new puzzle and the answers to this are all over Google.
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As for this posting, the answer is at the very end, there is a warning about it at the beginning and someone would have to scroll about four full screens to get to the paragraph where I start to put it together. Out of deference to your not entirely polite request, I’ve added a large warning header before that paragraph. Still, I doubt anyone looking for a quick answer would wade through my excessive canoodling. I arrived at the same one. However, you define clue number 4 in a very convenient way. So, the 1st house could be green and the 3rd house can be white. This makes House 4 yellow and House 5 red.
After finishing the table this way, you come to the conclusion that the fish could belong to either the German or the Dane. Horse Notice also, the cat and fish can be interchanged. This is because Blends is inbetween the two. Also notice, that the green hosue in on the left of the white. In fact, all 15 clues work out perfectly in this example also.
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So this puzzle has two answers, or I am making a huge mistake somewhere. I noticed this when I solved it myself, but even if the green and white houses don’t have to be next to each other, I still ended at the conclusion that they were houses four and five. Yeah, that does appear to work as well, at least i wasn’t able to disprove it easily. You’re right that the language of the fourth clue is sloppy and would literallly mean that the green house is anywhere from 1 to 4 houses left of the white house. I was fairly certain of my answer, but I think your interpretation of clue 4 is completely valid. And there was me thinking that the Dane was a dog kept by the swede, which was being grown in the green house with all the other vegetables.
15 is a little sloppy as well. One who lives near or next to another. If one is to use this rational the whole puzzle becomes a mess. If you want to get into all the possibilities of the puzzle you have more time than I. If you like these logic puzzles then you might want to try Sudoku puzzles that have become this year’s puzzle fad in UK newspapers. The aim is to ensure that every box contains the numbers 1 though 9, and that every horizontal and vertical line contains 1 through 9. The puzzles rely on the same logical gymnastics as the fish puzzle, but without the narrative element.
I also hate puzzles, but I did it just to prove to myself that I understand it conceptually and knew that it wasn’t so hard. But puzzles are just work, as far as I’m concerned. Oh, not that I’m against work. As a graphic designer, I have to solve problems and puzzles all day long. It just means I don’t like doing puzzles when I’m not in the office. What a great puzzle, if we get it are we in menze? I actually used Microsoft Excel to help with the graphing and coloring.
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The hardest challenge for myself was not getting the clues intertwined with each other. A true brain teaser and an enjoyable one. Guess I’m a little late to the party- I’ve had the original puzzle bookmarked for like a month now until I actually had time to sit down and figure it out. I worked out the solution pretty much the same way as you did. I have to agree with the second poster, though.
I suspected from the start that it was the German, but still had to go through the steps to prove it to myself. I was kinda surprised that he wasn’t a beer drinker, though. Now serious it was a really hard puzzle because ive just last night when out drink to much and to less sleep in the morning I saw that a friend of my posted this puzzle in my mailbox so. 30 minutes a had the correct answer but thats because it is sooo logical peoplezzz!
COULD NOT get the correct answer. However, I have the houses ina different order. The main difference is that the Blends guy has a neighborm with cats and a neighbor with water. You have them as the SAME neighbor, which is not disallowed.
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I had them as different neighbors, one on one side, one on the other. Answer: The German has the fish and drinks coffee in the green house, which is fourth on the block. Ok excuse my ignorance but why can’t the first house be green? 1 is on the far left. In fact, all the symbols offered in this logic puzzle could be interchanged with any other symbols and we would still arrive at the same product! I can’t believe I actually solved this.
Once you get it organized on paper it does come together. First of all, this is a great puzzle. Comes together well and considering it’s a logic puzzle, it only has one logical solution. The fact that everyone is splitting hairs goes against the fact that it is logical. Also, generally accepted conventions are different then logic, and given that the generally accepted convention of first being on the left could be changed, it doesn’t follow logic if it is. It can’t be that way, because it says that the Norwegian lives in the first house and near the blue house.
I understand I am way tooooooo late, but I just saw this. I feel super smart right now, as I managed to solve the puzzle. I’m sure everyone could derive the answer if you spent long enough on it! The real answer to the question is, who said anything about a fish?