Einstein’s Riddle


 

“Einstein’s Riddle” is a logic puzzle whose creation is often credited to a young Albert Einstein (though there is no hard evidence to support this claim), and it demands patience and logical processing to be properly solved. If you can figure it out without looking at the hints on how to solve this, then you would probably be a pretty good programmer.

Here’s the riddle in three pieces:

Background:

  • There are five houses in five different colors
  • A person with a different nationality lives in each house
  • The five owners each drink a certain type of 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 beverage

Clues:

  1. The Brit lives in the red house
  2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets
  3. The Dane drinks tea
  4. The green house is on the left of the white house
  5. The green homeowner 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 center house drinks milk
  9. The Norwegian lives in the first house
  10. The man who smokes Blend lives next to the one who keeps cats
  11. The man who keeps the horse lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill
  12. The owner 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 Blend has a neighbor who drinks water

The Question:

Who has a fish for a pet?

How to answer Einstein’s Riddle

The easiest way to solve this puzzle is start with a grid like this and begin filling it in with clues:

Clues 8 and 9 allow us to fill in cells directly:

Clue 14 places the blue house next to the Norwegian, and the green and white houses as 4 and 5:

Clue 1 says that the Brit lives in a red house, which rules out all but 3. By process of elimination, the first house is yellow, and clue 7 adds that the owner smokes Dunhills:

Clue 11 places horses next to the Dunhill house. The beer drinker smokes Blue Master, the Dane drinks tea, and milk and coffee are in houses 3 and 4. So the Norwegian—who smokes Dunhill—drinks water. And the water drinker’s neighbor smokes Blend. With the only beverages remaining being tea and beer, and knowing that the beer drinker smokes Blue Master, the second house has the tea drinking Dane:

The last beverage, beer, goes in house 5 with its Blue Masters. The German Prince-smoker must therefore be in House 4. This leaves the Swedish dog owner for House 5, then the bird-rearing Pall Mall smoker for House 3:

Since the cat owner lived next the Blend smoker, we can see that there is only one slot left: in the German’s house. So it is the German who keeps the fish:

Did you figure it out?

admin

I am a developer and consultant based in Conway, Arkansas. I am constantly reading, writing, and experimenting with the latest in web technologies. When I am not doing that I am trying to find the perfect cup of coffee, looking for new hiking trails, or planning my next adventure.

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About me

Nathan Shumate

Nathan Shumate

I am a developer and consultant based in Conway, Arkansas. I am constantly reading, writing, and experimenting with the latest in web technologies. When I am not doing that I am trying to find the perfect cup of coffee, looking for new hiking trails, or planning my next adventure.

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