My Fitness

Thursday, September 19, 2013

einstein's riddle

I came across this riddle of Einstein's on Pinterest the other day: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/135741376242197134/

The claim is that 98% of the world could not solve it. I think that is either an exaggeration or at the least misleading. There's no way my kids could solve it because they don't understand English. So, if they are included, then maybe the percentage makes sense. But if by "world" it means adults with no retardation, than I just can't believe that's true. This problem take less time to solve than to watch a sitcom on Netflix. I will take you through it. Why? I can't think of a good reason. It just sounded fun.

I was sick when I figured this out:
I had a sick baby in my lap and a sick baby sleeping behind me:


















We did do some cute shots though because we don't want people to think of us as ugly:

He's not exactly awake, just really cute.

Before we get to the riddle, do you know anything about solving a matrix?

No, not that Matrix.

Like Freshman High School Algebra matrix. Khan can help you with that. But it doesn't matter if you know it or not, it's just helpful.
Too scary and painful?

Matrices are too scary. But how about Sudoku? That's easy enough, right? Some of them, anyway. Here's an 'easy' one from some sudoku site:
Takes about 3 minutes, right?

Ok, that was the build-up. Let's take a look at Einstein. It is very similar to solving a matrix that a 12 year old can solve or a sudoku puzzle that your grandmother solved that one time. Take a moment and read the entire thing (or don't, it's not like I can tell). And then stop and think, "There is an answer. If I feel like solving it, I can. If Lauren did it, then every idiot should be able to."

There are 5 house in 5 different colors.
And we stop. We get a piece of paper and write down every color that was mentioned.
Too lazy? Fine, I'll do it for you:
Red  
White
Yellow
Blue
Green

continue:
In each house lives a person with a different nationality.
Again take a moment and write down each nationality mentioned.
British
Swedish
Danish
Norwegian
German

The fiver owners drink a certain type of beverage...
tea
coffee
water
milk
beer

smoke a certain brand of cigar...
Blend
Pall Mall
Dunhill
Bluemaster
Prince

and keep a certain pet...
birds
dogs
cats
horse
FISH

There's no overlap. It's straight forward. No tricks. Who owns the Fish?

You are given a bunch of hints and if you place them in a matrix, the pieces fall into place.

Oh, right, matrices (plural of matrix) are scary. We'll just place the info in rows and columns...

Start off by building little houses at the top of your page. Mine looked exactly like circles with numbers in them:


The numbered 'houses' are your first set of data...I mean, information...I mean, hints. It's just hints, nothing scary like data or even information. Just hints. Hint 1: there are five houses. How many houses? 5. Good job! That's right! So far, you're doing very well.

-The Brit lives in the RED house. 
Okay, we can't do anything with this piece of information. YET. We will be able to use this HINT in a little while.
-The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
Again, we'll just hold onto this piece of information HINT until we can use it.

We keep going until we come across:
-The man in the center house drinks milk.
Mmm, milk. Hopefully he has some cookies to go along with all that milk. And we update our Hint Sheet. Or "cheat sheet" if you prefer:
Then we read the rest of the HINTS. Are any of them immediately useful? Which one(s)?
THE VERY NEXT HINT SAYS:
-The Norwegian lives in the first house.
BAM: 

I can't believe they just gave away answers like that. Maybe a lot of my high school math class problems were just reading the entire problem all the way to the end?

Reading all the way through to the end, we can see that no more information is that easy. So we re-read everything looking for other hints that include "milk" or "Norwegian". 
-The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
There's no trick about it:

I think you could have gotten here on your own. The next step requires some thinking.
We note that that 
Brit and Red go together.
Dane and Tea.
GREEN is to the Left of WHITE.
scribbled notes on my paper indicating G (green) to the left of W (white)

You notice how one set is in one row and another set is in another row. Nothing else is in either row. And these hints are at the bottom of the page to remind me that I don't know which is correct YET.

I need more hints that eliminate bad data.
-The green homeowner drinks coffee.
That means that if Green went with #3, he'd be drinking MILK, so Green must actually go with #4, and therefore White goes with #5:

I'm glad we didn't panic or give up. The easy hint was the very next clue! I would have felt so stupid. Also, notice how we were able to include "coffee" in the matrix drink row.
Are there any more hints concerning color?
-The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
Not useful yet. But what else is said about Dunhill?
-The man who keeps the horse lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
Not too useful either.

Since that didn't work out I start making possibility association in rows. Like what I did with white/green.
For instance, starting at the top, Dane and Tea go together and they can only go under #2 or #5. So I would make a row with just that hint. But since Swede and Dog (the next hint) could go in many places, I don't write them anywhere, yet.
Why can Dane/Tea only go under #2 or #5?
Dane can't go in #1 because Norwegian is already there. But Tea can't go under #3 or #4 because milk and coffee are already in those places. That leaves only #2 and #5. It looks like this:

Pall Mall and Birds go together, but that info could go with any house right now. So I put it nowhere.

-The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
I can't do too much, but I can make a possibility row:

Notice it gets it's own row. All to itself. No sharing.
Keep reading.

-The man who keeps the horse lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
That means that if Dunhill is #1, the Horse is #2, and if Dunhill is #3, then Horse is either #2 or #4:
-The Brit lives in the Red house.

Can you tell me what's wrong with the above pic?
If the Brit is in the red house, and we know the colors of #2, 4, and 5, that leaves us with #1 and #3. But we know that the Brit can't live in #1 because the Norwegian lives there:
But note that since we have 5 colors and 4 filled in, we can automatically know that #1 must be the only color left. YELLOW. And what else do we know that goes with yellow? DUNHILL:
And what else do we know? We know that HORSE goes NEXT to Dunhill...

Starting from the top, again.
-The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
The Swede isn't in #1 or #3, and dogs aren't in #2. So #4 or #5:
Now I just fill in possibilities:
Bluemaster/beer should not be under #1 because dunhill is under #1, my bad.

Kinda messy. Are there ANY eliminations?
I'm just going to guess. Unfortunately, my first guess was correct. I don't know why I guessed correctly.
Let's guess that water goes with #1. I'm going to indicate that this is only a guess by marking it special:
if water goes to #1, then Blend goes to #2. Since Blend is in #2, that means Bluemaster and Prince cannot be...which means Bluemaster's only choice is #5...and Prince's only option is #4. Which also means that Prince and German go together, so German is in #4. Take a breath:

That means, Dane/Tea is #2 and Swede/Dog is #5:
Also, that cats is #1, and Pall Malls/birds is #3:
We read back over every hint. Everything checks out. There's only one problem.
Who owns the fish?

Here are my pages:
Bad first draft. I didn't realize this was 5x5. So I started over:







Let me know if you find something wrong with any of the above.

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