# Who owns the fish?

Discussion in 'Math' started by MrChips, May 5, 2015.

1. ### MrChips Thread Starter Moderator

Oct 2, 2009
14,489
4,267
After you have figured out Cheryl's birthday you can have a go at this one:

This one was devised by Albert Einstein as a boy and is popularly called “Einstein’s Riddle”.

It is also said that only two per cent of the population are smart enough to solve it.

Many variations have appeared over the years, including a simplified version in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Here I’ve updated the puzzle to reflect the 2015 Election, and the news story two weeks about the woman who painted stripes on her Kensington house in a protest about planning regulations.

You may or may not be in the one per cent. But are you in the two per cent?

There are five houses with the outside walls painted in five different ways. David, Ed, Nick, Nicola and Nigel each live in one of the houses. They each drink a certain type of coffee, have a preferred mode of transport and keep a certain pet. No owners have the same pet, the same preferred mode of transport or drink the same type of coffee.

WHO OWNS THE FISH?
1. Nicola lives in the tartan house.
2. Ed has a guinea pig
3. David drinks mochaccino
4. The paisley house is on the left of the gingham house
5. The owner of the paisley house drinks flat whites.
6. The person who drives by car has a squirrel.
7. The owner of the striped house travels by bike.
8. The person living in the centre house drinks double espresso.
9. Nick lives in the first house.
10. The person who travels by train lives next to the one who has a pitbull.
11. The person who has a badger lives next to the person who travels by bike.
12. The person who travels by plane drinks chai latte.
13. Nigel goes everywhere by foot.
14. Nick lives next to the polka dot house.
15. The person who travels by train has a neighbour who drinks decaf.
For the sake of clarity: the houses are adjacent to each other in a line and the directions are from the perspective of someone looking at the houses. And any resemblance of David, Ed, Nick, Nicola and Nigel to the party leaders is purely coincidental. You have to solve this problem by logic, not by having had a coffee with any of them.

2. ### t_n_k AAC Fanatic!

Mar 6, 2009
5,448
784
I have <snip> as the fish owner.

Moderator: Don't give out the answer. Tell us how long it took you to solve it.

Apr 16, 2011
272
105
Took me about 20 minutes to develop a strategy, then about another 20 minutes to work it all out.

Doubt that I am the fastest, but was pleased to have worked it out.

No way am I in the top 2% cleverest people though, so I am not convinced of the 2% figure, unless time taken is a factor.

Nice puzzle though

4. ### t_n_k AAC Fanatic!

Mar 6, 2009
5,448
784
It took me a while. But I'm helping mind two of my grandchildren today, so I am somewhat distracted by their needs & demands for attention. My 10 month old granddaughter kept grabbing my worksheet whilst sitting on my lap.
I'm definitely not in the 2% cohort so that settles the matter for me.
Given time and a logical strategy I believe anyone of reasonable age could obtain a solution.
If you can solve medium level sudoku puzzles, for instance, I believe you can solve this problem.

Last edited: May 6, 2015
5. ### atferrari AAC Fanatic!

Jan 6, 2004
2,837
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About 40 minutes with interruptions. I was about to abandon this. Have to decide today if buying a new home.

ErnieM likes this.
6. ### joeyd999 AAC Fanatic!

Jun 6, 2011
3,108
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Would that be to the left or right of Nick's?

theonewho and DerStrom8 like this.
7. ### atferrari AAC Fanatic!

Jan 6, 2004
2,837
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Most probably the one with the squirrel inside drinking mochaccino.

8. ### strantor AAC Fanatic!

Oct 3, 2010
4,710
2,571
took me 2 days, working on it in 5-10min windows. Most times I came back to it, by the time I "got my head back in the game" and started to make a bit of progress, I was pulled away by some emergency or some shiny object.

Has the "new" worn off enough that we can we say our answers now? I want to confirm I got it right, and I'm not going to spend 2 more days checking my work.

9. ### atferrari AAC Fanatic!

Jan 6, 2004
2,837
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It seems that we have to start treating urgently that anxiety. Not good.

I managed to solve that quite quickly: I put everybody / everything in the center house so the five own the fish and killed the discussion before starting. Problem solved.

10. ### joeyd999 AAC Fanatic!

Jun 6, 2011
3,108
3,959
Channeling Neo:

"There is no fish."

sdowney717 likes this.
11. ### killivolt Active Member

Jan 10, 2010
449
573
To think Einstein wrote this at age 9 and no I didn't even try to work it out.

I cheated and watched someone on Youtube work it out in short order.

It would be interesting written as an equation. But I'm not doing it.

Just for fun .......... http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/Goodies/Zurich_Notebook/

kv

12. ### strantor AAC Fanatic!

Oct 3, 2010
4,710
2,571
I'm curious where the "2%" figure came from. I suspect it's bogus, but if it is in fact based on some real test data then there is probably some caveat, like "in their head, without paper."

It seems to me the average joe should be able to solve this riddle if he wanted to. Maybe there lies the caveat "if he wanted to." It might not be 2% of the population "smart" enough to solve it, but 2% of the population willing to invest the time to solve it.

But then again, the problem solving skills that most of us here consider second nature, are actually not that common. It's a way of thinking that we have honed in the course of carrying out our interests and/or occupations. Other people have honed their ways of thinking to suit them, those ways of thinking might leave them clueless about how to even start the riddle. Hard to tell with these things, when you can't see through other people's eyes or think with their brains.

atferrari likes this.
13. ### DerStrom8 Well-Known Member

Feb 20, 2011
2,428
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Took me about 45 minutes, put together a chart in excel with "O"s signifying a match and "X"s signifying no match. I think I have the answer but I'm going to need someone to check it. Send me a PM if your'e interested

Matt

14. ### atferrari AAC Fanatic!

Jan 6, 2004
2,837
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Used Excel myself too. PM on the way.

15. ### atferrari AAC Fanatic!

Jan 6, 2004
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Yes, you could do but eventually you are not interested. I agree.

Sudoku for me is a waste of time. I prefer other things to keep my brain in use, like teaching a micro to behave like a digital filter or to play the "life" game (J. Conway) on a GLCD.

killivolt likes this.
16. ### DerStrom8 Well-Known Member

Feb 20, 2011
2,428
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We got the same answers atferrari

Cheers,
Matt

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17. ### atferrari AAC Fanatic!

Jan 6, 2004
2,837
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Any red carpet to announce the winner or well... the owner of that fish?

DerStrom8 likes this.
18. ### DerStrom8 Well-Known Member

Feb 20, 2011
2,428
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I got Nigel as being the owner of the fish.

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19. ### strantor AAC Fanatic!

Oct 3, 2010
4,710
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Spoiler tags?

Mind Blown.

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Jan 6, 2004
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