10/23/2016 11:13:58 PM
Cural Posts: 1

I have just completed the "From The Professor's Files..." puzzle# B, and have found an error with either the solution provided or with the wording of a clue.
I had completed the entire puzzle, with the exception of two last names. I still had to fill in the last names of Jill and Prudence. The options left were Lovejoy and Wallis. All the other fields were filled in correctly, confirmed via the answer key. The only remaining relevant clue was the second half of clue #8, which read:
"The contestant who used the same dictionary as the one surnamed Wallis turned in no more than two fewer correct solutions than the one surnamed Wallis."
The wording here seems a bit weird, but if you parse it logically, then the man who used the same dictionary as Ms. Wallis had to have a total number of correct solutions no greater than 2 fewer than what Ms. Wallis had. Thus, if Ms. Wallis has 9 correct, the man using the same dictionary must have 7 or fewer. If Ms. Wallis has 8, then the other man has 6 or fewer. At 7 correct, the other must have 5. Since none have fewer than 5 (as per introduction, which states each finalist turned in at least 5 correct, but no one correctly finished all 10), there is no correct solution where Ms. Wallis has 5 or 6 correct, as the other cannot have only 3 or 4 correct solutions.
Reviewing the rest of my answers, Jill had used the Webster's and turned in 5. Prudence had used the Oxford and turned in 8. This means if Jill is Ms. Wallis, then the other user of the Webster's dictionary (Clive Quimby with 9 correct) must have no more than 3 correct solutions. If Prudence has the surname Wallis, then the other user of the Oxford dictionary (Gary Tiff with 5 correct) must have no more than 6 correct solutions.
Based on the above logic, it was impossible for Jill to be Ms. Wallis, while Gary Tiff fits the case for Prudence Wallis. However, the answer key at the back of the book instead has Prudence Lovejoy and Jill Wallis.
I have reviewed the entire explanation given in the answer key, and have found no explanation on how they got the reverse solution out of clue #8, despite the fact the answer key actually cites that clue. The relevant passage in the answer key states:
"Gary used an Oxford dictionary and turned in 5 solutions, so the person surnamed Wallis didn't turn in 8 solutions and use an Oxford dicitonary (8)."
Please let me know whether Clue #8 is wrong, or whether the answer key is wrong, because there is no other way that this can make sense.
Thank you

10/24/2016 11:38:55 AM
Frances Posts: 698

I wonder if "no more than two fewer" means either 1 fewer, or 2 fewer. Since 3 is more than 2, that's too many "fewer". Or not. This is why I don't do too many hard logics.

10/24/2016 2:07:54 PM
Amy Lowenstein Posts: 1599

Frances wrote:
I wonder if "no more than two fewer" means either 1 fewer, or 2 fewer. Since 3 is more than 2, that's too many "fewer". Or not. This is why I don't do too many hard logics.
I agree that the wording "no more than two fewer" sounds like either none fewer (could be MORE, rather than any fewer, for all that, in my book), one fewer, or two fewer, but not 3 fewer nor 4 fewer nor 1,000 fewer, etc. edited by AmyinPA on 10/24/2016
 Amy

10/24/2016 2:13:53 PM
LogicEditor Posts: 89

Thanks for asking about this clue. The wording is indeed tricky! Frances and Amy are correct: the "no more than" wording applies to "two fewer." This means that Clive, who used the same dictionary as Wallis, could have had more correct solutions, the same number of correct solutions, or 1 or 2 fewer correct solutions than Wallis. Hope this helps clear things up!
