Friday Riddle Answer

nudgie Member Posts: 1,478 Member
edited March 2014 in Colorectal Cancer #1
PGLGreg is the WINNER THIS WEEK :) CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I left out the clues hoping it would make the riddle that much harder, but apparently that did not help

Will work on getting some more complex riddles for the future :)

RIDDLE: Einstein's Riddle

The story behind Einstein's riddle is that Albert Einstein created it in the late 1800s, and claimed that 98% of the world population couldn't solve it. I am not sure of the true origin, but I have seen this one floating around the internet, and it is a good brain exercise. Here it is:

- In a street there are five houses, painted five different colors.

- In each house lives a person of different nationality.

- These five homeowners each drink a different kind of beverage, smoke different brand of cigar and keep a different pet.

Einstein's riddle is: Who owns the fish?

ANSWER:A chart seems like the most useful tool to help solve this riddle: Five columns for the five houses, and five rows for nationality, house color, type of drink, type of cigar, and finally, pets. Clue #8 states the man in the middle house drinks milk, so we can start by filling in that one of the 25 boxes created.

Then we deduce as much as possible from each clue as it becomes usable. The Norwegian living in the first house (# 9) could mean the first on the left or the right, since it isn't specified. I assume the left (first on chart) for now. Often, with riddles or puzzles, it is faster to make an assumption and if it doesn't work out go back and try the other way, rather than trying to hold open both possibilities while analyzing the other clues.

Clue# 14 says the Norwegian lives next to the blue house, so we can fill in the house color in the second column.

Clue # 4 says the green house is to the left of the white house, and #5 says it is occupied by a coffee drinker. The only place that works is in column four, so we can fill in color and drink there, and white for the color of the fifth.

Clue #1 says the British man is in the red house, and the third house is the only one that has neither color nor nationality specified yet, so we can fill in those two boxes. This also gives us the color of the first house, since only yellow is left. Yellow smokes Dunhill (#7), so we get that too.

Horses are next to the Dunhill smoker (#11). Put that in the second column and here we are so far:

I have to admit that I was stumped at this point, until I started looking for "clumps" of information. The idea is that if you can put three or more things together at this point, there is likely only one column they will fit in. In this case, I started with clue # 12: The man who smokes Blue Master drinks beer. That is two bits of information that go together.

Now we have to determine what other bit of information can be "attached" to that. From what we have on the chart, we can see that the Norwegian smokes Dunhill and the British man drinks milk, so we rule out two nationalities.# 13 says the German smokes Prince, and #3 says the Danish man drinks tea, so we are left with just the Swedish man, who we now know smokes Blue Master and drinks beer. Scanning the clues for more information about the Swedish man we see that he has dogs (# 2). The only place that these four items fit is column five, so we fill that in.

Now it gets a bit easier. The "Blends" smoker is next to a water-drinker (#15) and the cat owner (# 10), which fits only in house 2 now, so we can put "blends" in 2 and "water" in 1. That leaves only "tea" for 2. Clue # 3 says the Danish man drinks tea, so we get that as well, which leaves just one slot (house 4) for the German.

The German smokes Prince (#13), which leaves only one slot (house 3) for the Pall Malls. This is how the chart now looks:

Clue # 6 says the person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds (house 3). Clue #10 says the man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats, so "cats" can only fit in the house 1 column. That leaves but one slot open, so the coffee-drinking, Prince Cigar-smoking German in the green house owns the fish in Einstein's riddle.


  • PGLGreg
    PGLGreg Member Posts: 731
    Thanks to nudgie and PamPam2 for a fun puzzle. It's a lot easier to verify the correctness of the solution than it is to say how it can be worked out, so I thought I would add the verification here. Assuming that the houses are in a line and numbered #1 for the first and leftmost, then #2, and so on, then the information about the houses and owners is in this chart:

    House: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5
    Color: yellow blue red green white
    Nat.: Norwegian Dane Brit German Swede
    Pets: cats horse birds FISH dogs
    Drinks: water tea milk coffee beer
    Smokes: Dunhill Blend P.Mall Prince Bluemaster

    If you go through the clues PamPam2 gave, you'll see that they are all consistent with the chart, and that shows that making the German the owner of the pet fish is a solution.