Thursday, March 20, 2008

One Question Quiz

The Einstein Quiz

Einstein said that 98% of people in the world cannot solve the following puzzle. And Einstein was usually right (that's why he's Einstein.) Here is the Einstein Quiz:

There are 5 houses in 5 different colors.
In each house lives a person with a different nationality.
These 5 owners drink a certain beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar and keep a certain pet.
No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar or drink the same drink.
The Brit lives in a red house.
The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
The Dane drinks tea.
The green house is on the left of the white house.
The green house owner drinks coffee.
The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
The man living in the house right in the centre drinks milk.
The Norwegian lives in the first house.
The man who smokes Blend lives next to the one who keeps cats.
The man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.
The German smokes Prince.
The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
The man who smokes Blend has a neighbor who drinks water.
Can you determine WHO KEEPS FISH?
Answer below:

Nowhere in the problem, except in the question, is the word fish found. Thus the fifth pet might just as well be elephants as fish. After a lot of work you can safely conclude that the German has the fifth pet, but you have to ASSUME that the fifth pet is fish in order to conclude the German has fish. But you have no basis for making this assumption. Note that Einstein was very careful to separate the "Facts" from the "Question" in this puzzle.

So the correct answer to the Einstein Quiz is: You have no idea if anyone keeps fish or not. Once you grasp the nature of the problem correctly, its rather simple to solve. And it is just like Einstein to give us a puzzle like this, for he stressed examining assumptions, and once wrote: "The important thing is to not stop questioning."

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