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Home » Math and Logic Problem Exchange » Math & Logic, May 2015 - "Inedible Treats"

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3/20/2015 3:08:57 AM

Lalu
Lalu
Posts: 1
Hi. I've been a fan of Dell Puzzles for a number of decades. Don't remember how old I was when I started, but if these magazines have been around for more than 50 years, then I've been buying them for at least that long. No one had ever heard of Sudoku - it was called Number Place, if I recall correctly and there were no variations like Ken-Ken and Jigsaw Sudoku. I remember doing Logic Problems before grids were included and home computers were still in the future, so I'd tape papers together to create my own grids and was so pleased that the grids that were eventually provided were exactly the same as the ones I created on my own. Now that I've made sure that I sound like a little old lady who remembers things from half a century ago but probably can't recall today's breakfast, here's my question (and I hope I'm putting it in the correct place on this website):

Whenever I've reached a dead end with a Logic problem, I check the solution, spending as much time as is necessary to fully understand how to get there. In the May, 2015 edition of Math & Logic Problems, Logic Problem 15 - "Inedible Treats" - I had a couple of problems and reading the solution just added to my frustration. First, clue #4 - "Flax seed was not substituted for raisins or nutmeg, nor was it used in the oatmeal cookies", was somewhat misleading (at least it was to me). Whenever I've seen a clue like this one, it would be referring to 4 separate cookies - one which used flax seed, one using a substitute for raisins, one using a substitute for nutmeg and the fourth item was oatmeal cookies. However, the creator of this puzzle didn't follow what I consider to be an accepted convention and the oatmeal cookies were the ones which used a substitute for raisins. If this had been my only problem, I wouldn't have bothered writing this post, but I'm wondering if this was an error or was it a bad assumption on my part?

The REAL reason for this post, is the problem I ran into when the puzzle was almost completed. I was left knowing that lemon peel was substituted for nutmeg and chocolate chips were substituted for raisins, but couldn't quite get which substitution went with which cookie. I also didn't know which of Ann and Carla was Moore and O'Dell. The solution was fine until I got to "Moore did not use chocolate chips, cocoa, or flax seed (clue 2)". Had clue 2 actually said that, I would have known that Moore was Ann and everything else would have fallen into place. While I often have to go over a line in the solution a number of times before I figure out how to get that far, this one leaves me stumped. By the time I got there, I knew everything about Carla but her last name, so now I'm left wondering, were the words "or flax seed" just left out of the clue in error, or was that a piece of information I should have picked up from elsewhere in the puzzle?

Sorry this post is so long. It seems silly to be bothered by something so trivial and I doubt I'll lose any sleep over it, but can anyone please explain to me where I missed the boat on this one? I thank you in advance.

3/20/2015 8:44:18 AM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
I also hate it when the answer in the back of the magazine shows a "leap of logic" as I call it. They'll say, for example, that clue 2 shows such-and-such to be the case, while it's really a combination of clue 2, clue 3, clue 4, and clue 5 which makes such-and-such the only possible answer. I don't usually do the "math and logic" puzzles, and I stopped my logic subscription a while ago (still have a bunch of my old ones to go thru, before I subscribe again), so I can't help on this particular puzzle.

I agree with you that the wording to clue 4 hints that there are 4 separate cookies. I wish the editors would have changed the wording of the clue so that nobody who knows the usual wording on clues, would be mis-led by this clue.

I hope the editors will see your post, Lalu, and explain (even if their explanation turns out to be "Oops, we didn't edit carefully enough").

--
Amy

4/15/2015 2:25:20 PM

wa4lrm
wa4lrm
Posts: 54
I found another problem which the answer on back say the flax seed was used by woman. However there is no proof of that. I did started as assumption as flax seed by man and it would go into series of assumption so I wasted no time for assumption series. I they would change clue one from (who was not cook who added flax seed to her cookie batter) to (who was not woman who added flax seed to her cookie batter) that would eliminate the headache on this series of assumption. I also had same problem with clue four as four cooks.

4/15/2015 4:32:45 PM

Anna Booth
Anna Booth
Posts: 88
I actually don't read the first clue you mentioned as necessarily 4 separate cookies. I don't know the exact scenario...but I only read that flax seed was not in the oatmeal cookies. I don't think it reads that neither raisins or nutmeg cannot be in the oatmeal cookies. The wording doesn't specify that these are mutually exclusive of each other.

Now as to the other clue...I cannot tell out of context.

I'm a young'n...so I might solve the logic puzzles differently than those of you who have been doing them for a lot longer.

9/14/2015 11:08:23 AM

rkpair
rkpair
Posts: 2
You can reference my post about this problem in the 'Possible Errors' forum section. Clue 2 should read 'Neither Barry nor Moore used cocoa, chocolate chips, or flax seed.' (or a similar wording). The flax seed provision in the clue is mentioned in the solution near the back of the magazine.

9/14/2015 11:26:17 AM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
To WA4LRM: Whenever I see a clue that says "... her cookie ..." I circle the word "her" to remind myself that this is a subtle hint that the clue refers to a woman. Very often the clue will say "his or her" if they don't want you to know right off the bat which sex the person is.

--
Amy

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