Sunday, February 26, 2006

Einstein's riddle


I was recently forwarded this e-mail by a friend and I thought that the reader might enjoy its challenge. I've provided a solution at the end of the post.

ALBERT EINSTEIN'S RIDDLE ARE YOU IN THE TOP 2% OF INTELLIGENT PEOPLE IN THE WORLD? SOLVE THE RIDDLE AND FIND OUT.

There are no tricks, just pure logic, so good luck and don't give up.

1. In a street there are five houses, painted five different colours.
2. In each house lives a person of different nationality
3. These five homeowners each drink a different kind of beverage, smoke different brand of cigar and keep a different pet.

THE QUESTION: WHO OWNS THE FISH?

HINTS

1. The Brit lives in a red house.
2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
3. The Dane drinks tea.
4. The Green house is next to, and on the left of the White house.
5. The owner of the Green house drinks coffee.
6. The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
7. The owner of the Yellow house smokes Dunhill.
8. The man living in the centre house drinks milk.
9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
10. The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
11. The man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
12. The man who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.
13. The German smokes Prince.
14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
15. The man who smokes Blends has a neighbour who drinks water.

ALBERT EINSTEIN WROTE THIS RIDDLE EARLY DURING THE 19th CENTURY. HE SAID THAT 98% OF THE WORLD POPULATION WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO SOLVE IT.

SOLUTIONS: (you may want to draw five squares in a row to represent the houses and then write the descriptions above the squares. You will need to do this to so that you can note which characteristics have already been used)

(a) The Norwegian lives in the first house (9)
(b) The second house is blue (14)
(c) The first house is yellow (1) & (4) & (c)
(d) The person in the third house drinks milk (8)
(e) The person in the first house drinks water (5) & (12) & (3) & (d)
(f) The second house smokes Blends (15)
(g) The third house is red (5) & (4)
(h) The fourth house is green and the fifth house is white (4)
(i) The person in the fourth house drinks coffee (5)
(j) The third house is owned by a Brit (1)
(k) The second house keeps horses (11)
(l) The person in the fifth house smokes Blue Master and drinks beer (12 - only place that both characteristics can stay together)
(m) The second house is owned by a Dane who drinks tea (3)
(n) The fourth house is owned by a German who smokes Prince (13)
(o) The fifth house is owned by a Swede who owns dogs (2)
(p) The person in the third house smokes Pall-Mall and owns birds (6)
(q) The person in the first house owns cats (10)

Therefore, the German must own the fish!!

7 comments:

Jeong said...

I think this is a trick question..

3. Says that each homeowner keeps a different pet.

but nowhere does it say that a fish is one of the five kinds of pets that are allowable. The criteria seems to allow any animal as the fifth pet.

None of the hints say anything about a fish so the fifth pet could be any animal except a Dog, Cat, Horse or Bird.

N B Saunders said...

By asking who has the fish, the question implies that someone does own the fish. It's not a trick question, but a riddle built entirely on logical deductions.

bortscher said...

This wasn't that difficult to me, just really time consuming. I don't think only the top 98% of the modern world can do this, as people are a lot more experienced in these kinds of logical problems than they were in the past, thanks to... well... techology and education. Heck I've dealt with even more difficult problems in video games.

I guess this is a good thing, though.

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