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12/15/2013 11:37:00 AM

Craig Wright
Craig Wright
Posts: 15
(Also posted under "Let Us Know About Possible Mistakes")

From the November 2013 Logic Lover's Math & Logic Problems:
I believe I may have found an alternate solution for the second Math Maze puzzle on page 50.

http://www.thepuzzledetective.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/mathmaze-small.jpg

I found this to be a puzzle which was slightly above-average in difficulty to solve. My contention is that when there are multiple correct answers, the puzzle becomes MORE difficult to solve because logic should only lead to a single solution. Alternate answers lead to "guess work" and hinder logical progression to finding that solution. Thoughts?
edited by The Puzzle Detective on 12/15/2013

12/15/2013 8:04:26 PM

creamchz3@aol.com
creamchz3@aol.com
Posts: 947
I agree which is why I don't do Logic puzzles very often anymore. If it is indeed LOGIC it should have only one answer. That's just me though I'm sure others will disagree. CC

12/16/2013 7:09:59 AM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
The first logic puzzle I was introduced to, in 1967, has wording which is a little fuzzy, so there are 2 possible answers to that puzzle. It mentions that one house is "to the left" of another house. It doesn't say "directly to the left" (which makes it possible to have one answer, Answer A) nor does it say "somewhere to the left but not directly" (which makes it possible to have another answer, Answer B). And if it had said simply "somewhere to the left," then both Answers A and B would have been correct. Most of the people where I worked -- which is where I heard about that puzzle -- figured the clue meant "directly to the left" and didn't even think of the other possibilities.

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Amy

12/16/2013 8:23:26 AM

creamchz3@aol.com
creamchz3@aol.com
Posts: 947
Do you have this puzzle or are you going by memory alone? I can't believe you remember the first of any puzzle you've done! CC Amy, you went over 700!
edited by creamchz3@aol.com on 12/16/2013

12/16/2013 8:54:54 AM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
Thanks for keeping track of my number, and it being 700. Woo hoo.

The very first logic puzzle, back when some companies had computers but people didn't have computers, we worked on by looking at the clues and making deductions, and drawing a diagram. One of the people said a computer could probably solve the puzzle easily. In any event, it involved 5 men from different countries, who lived in houses painted 5 different colors, and who drank 5 different drinks, smoked 5 different cigarette brands, and had 5 different animals as pets. It had around 20 clues (because none of the clues is as complicated as the multi-part clues we see nowadays), and many of them were "positive" clues (such as "The Norwegian lives in the blue house" and "The Ukrainian drinks tea") rather than many of the "negative" clues we get in tough puzzles today (such as "Neither John nor the blond is surnamed Smith"). I don't think the clues were numbered, either, there was just a list of a lot of clues.

I liked that puzzle so much, that about 10 years later, when I worked at a different company, I showed those co-workers the puzzle.

One funny story about it, is that you weren't required to match up every house with every nationality with every pet with every drink with every cigarette. All you had to do, once you matched up enough things, was to say "Who drinks the orange juice" and "Who smokes the Old Golds." None of the 20 clues mentioned Old Gold, nor orange juice. Those were the 2 missing ingredients, as it were.

When I showed the puzzle to those new co-workers, one of them said "Nobody smokes the orange juice." I knew what she meant -- that she thought nobody smoked the unmentioned-in-clues cigarettes, and nobody drank the unmentioned-in-clues drink. It was so funny, though, that she said nobody smoked a drink. I guess that's right; it's pretty hard to "smoke" orange juice!

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Amy

12/16/2013 12:44:23 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 878
Amy is this the puzzle you remember? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zebra_Puzzle

I've never solved it but it appears to be well known.

12/16/2013 11:09:28 PM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
Purple, apparently this puzzle seems to keep evolving. I never heard of a zebra in the puzzle I learned of in 1967. There was an ambiguous clue about a certain house being "to the left of" (maybe it was "right of") another house, without it saying "immediately" to the left, or otherwise. Most emphatically, the two questions at the end were "Who smokes the Old Golds" and "Who drinks the orange juice." That co-worker could never have made such a hysterically funny comment otherwise. But yes, many of the clues sound familiar, such as "The Spaniard owns the dog," "Coffee is drunk in the green house," "The Ukrainian drinks tea," "Kools are smoked in the yellow house," "Milk is drunk in the middle house," and "Kools are smoked in the house next to the house where the horse is kept."

I've printed out that whole set of pages from Wikipedia and now I see that the "Original Life International" puzzle had a later variation where the green house "on the left of the white house" (without it being "immediately left"). By the time I saw the puzzle, "white" had become "ivory," but it's the same idea. (The 5 colors I remember are blue, red, green, ivory, and yellow.) As Wikipedia points out about this alternate version, "the omission of the word 'immediately' ... leads to multiple solutions."
edited by Amy-in-PA on 12/16/2013

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Amy

12/17/2013 12:59:52 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 878
Amy you've got a good memory! smile

12/17/2013 2:02:40 PM

creamchz3@aol.com
creamchz3@aol.com
Posts: 947
I don't think I could remember that even if I wrote the Puzzle! Amy, do you have one of those photographic memories? OMG that's incredible! CC

12/18/2013 7:22:00 AM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
I guess some, but not everything, that I remember is photographic. Sometimes when I hear a song, I see in my mind's eye the place that I was when I first heard that song. Or if I see a person I don't often see, I can see where I was when we first met. Sometimes, though, it takes something which has a big impact, to have those memories -- such as the fabulous night I had on Thursday, November 21, 1963, and then where I was when I heard the news about Kennedy the next day.

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Amy

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