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Home » Math and Logic Problem Exchange » British Logic -- Spring 2011, Puzzle #28

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12/23/2014 1:51:15 PM

Michael1973
Michael1973
Posts: 58
As previously stated, I've never been as big a fan of the British puzzles as the American ones, and for a variety of reasons. One of the primary reasons is that some of them try to be so clever with the wording of the clues that the important information actually gets lost in translation. Case in point...

Here's a clue from the puzzle indicated by the subject line: "When the lady from London tried to take a picture of the standing stone circle, she found that the battery in her camera had run out, and she didn't have a spare with her."

In the end, I learned that the point of the clue is to inform me that the couple from London were not the ones who took the picture of the stone circle. So why not just tell me that?
edited by Michael1973 on 12/23/2014

12/23/2014 6:50:54 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 878
I'm a fan of the British Logic, but do understand what you mean about including additional information that isn't necessary. These puzzles are said to be good for beginners, so maybe these types of clues (that seem to have more of a story line) may make it easier for some people to wrap their heads around.

12/23/2014 9:33:40 PM

Frances
Frances
Posts: 698
What you see as a distraction, Michael, I see as an attraction. Presenting the clues of a logic problem as tersely and succinctly as possible may seem the most practical, and is the usual method, but to me it can be somewhat pedestrian, even with the variations of settings. "Here's yer facts. Solve it."

A British logic problem can be more of a story, with those extraneous tidbits (while maybe not assisting in the solve) adding depth and interest. Our little story, fleshed out like this, often with humor, puns, and British wit, makes for a brief time of very enjoyable escapism.

I can understand some preferring the absence of "clutter", though. Happily, there are logic magazines to suit us both!

12/24/2014 9:35:38 AM

Michael1973
Michael1973
Posts: 58
It's nice to get different perspectives on things. Typically, the additional information in the British clues doesn't bother me, but in the above example it totally threw me off. Even though, in retrospect, it's obvious that the couple from London did not, in fact, take the picture of the stone circle, I was tricked into thinking they did. I'm just not used to these puzzles referring to negative situations in such an elaborate way!

12/24/2014 10:41:55 PM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
I think some of those "irrelevancies" are just fun. I do, though, sometimes have to think twice about what is, or isn't, relevant in the clue toward solving the puzzle.

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Amy

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