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Home » Math and Logic Problem Exchange » England's Best -- how to solve when no grid

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3/11/2015 10:31:47 AM

Toby Speed
Toby Speed
Posts: 18
Hi all,

After years of doing only crostics, I saw the ad for England's Best Logic Puzzles, Vol. 1 & 2, caved in and bought them. That was after trying (and failing!) to solve the sample puzzle provided, but they looked like a lot of fun.

My question is, how do I tackle the illustrated puzzles that have no grid? For example, there may be an illustration of six people seated around a table, or a chest of drawers, or houses in a neighborhood. After trying to solve these repeatedly, by writing the clues beneath the pictures, I have a 100% failure rate. I just cannot wrap my head around all of the "he sits two seats in front of X, who is across from Y," or "this race happened before that one." Where do you begin with such puzzles?

I enjoy the grid puzzles very much and have a higher success rate with them, with only occasional meltdowns. smile

Thanks!

Toby

4/21/2015 11:55:45 AM

Gary Kleppe
Gary Kleppe
Posts: 8
A diagram may or may not be useful. I've done puzzles where you couldn't determine which group of persons was on the left and which was on the right until I'd solved everything else. But the only way to find that out is to try. Basically you try to find places where you can narrow down things enough to determine which person or item is in a given slot.

If things happen in a given order, you can often make a list first through fifth (or however many items there are) and narrow down the possibilities for which is first, which is second, etc. You might need to coordinate between different clues. For example, suppose there are five items and you know that A came directly before B which came directly before C; and another clue tells you that X came directly before Y which came directly before Z. That leaves you with just five possibilities: (1) C = X; (2) B = X and C = Y; (3) A = X, B = Y, and C = Z; (4) A = Y and B = Z; (5) A = Z. Usually you can eliminate some possibilities right away; if A and X are both identified by first names and C and Y by last names then that gets rid of (2) and (3) right off.

It's hard to say more without a particular problem to look at.

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