The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

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The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby Wawizzle on Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:16 pm

    There are five houses.
    The Englishman lives in the red house.
    The Spaniard owns the dog.
    Coffee is drunk in the green house.
    The Ukrainian drinks tea.
    The green house is immediately to the right of the ivory house.
    The Old Gold smoker owns snails.
    Kools are smoked in the yellow house.
    Milk is drunk in the middle house.
    The Norwegian lives in the first house.
    The man who smokes Chesterfields lives in the house next to the man with the fox.
    Kools are smoked in the house next to the house where the horse is kept.
    The Lucky Strike smoker drinks orange juice.
    The Japanese smokes Parliaments.
    The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.

Now, who drinks water? Who owns the zebra?



I'm going to try this riddle when my food finishes and I'm done eating.

Enjoy!
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Re: The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby fueledbycoffee on Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:42 pm

Alright, this could be wrong, but don't read it if you haven't done it anyway.
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[...Y...].............[...B...].............[...I...]..............[...G...]..............[...R...]
Norwegian...|......Horse.........|.....Milk...........|......Coffee........|......Not Ivory
Kools.........|......Tea............|....Fox............|......Chesterfields.|......Englishman
...............|......Ukrainian.....|....Japanese......|......Spaniard......|......Snails
...............|......Lucky Strikes.|....Parliaments...|......Dog............|......One Gold
...............|......Orange Juice.|.....................|.......................|................


Clearly, as all of the other people own animals, the Norwegian has the Zebra.
The water has to be either the Englishman or the Norwegian. I can't decide without more info.
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Re: The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby PantyGnawer on Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:51 pm

I created a thread for this riddle a few months ago. Seems to be gone now though.

I solved it but it sure as hell took me a while.
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Re: The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby Wawizzle on Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:19 pm

I just finished it!

I'm not entirely sure how long it took me but it was exhilirating!!! :D Must have been about half an hour or so.
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Re: The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby nicci :) on Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:09 pm

half an hour? :worship:

AndI got the water easily but the zebra... wow. I had to leave it and come back and even now I don't know what i did, but my solution works.

Time to wiki it... hope they have a step by step so I can see their solution. Wonder what I missed about the zebra?

edit: no hang on... crap, I have a different zebra result! Oh dear... *wondering whether to wiki it or check again*
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Re: The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby Rev. Rowan Redbeard on Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:34 pm

As clever as he was, Einstein worded the problem a little ambiguously. The "first" house could apply to the rightmost or the leftmost. Depending on which you chose, you will come up with a different solution than the "correct" one.
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Re: The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby Wawizzle on Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:38 pm

Rev. Rowan Redbeard wrote:As clever as he was, Einstein worded the problem a little ambiguously. The "first" house could apply to the rightmost or the leftmost. Depending on which you chose, you will come up with a different solution than the "correct" one.


Luckily I assumed it was left-to-right.

There are other ambiguities in there as well.
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Re: The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby nicci :) on Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:54 pm

Rev. Rowan Redbeard wrote:As clever as he was, Einstein worded the problem a little ambiguously. The "first" house could apply to the rightmost or the leftmost. Depending on which you chose, you will come up with a different solution than the "correct" one.


Ahhh so it won't become a mirror image you mean? Ok so...

SPOILERS!!!
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So I chose left as first and got water=Nor=yellow=kools=fox & coffee=Jap=green=Parl=zebra

...
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END SPOILERS

Sooooo ??? A hint maybe? Yes or no? Ahhhh not your problem is it? lol. Ok , **standing up* I believe my answer and off to the wiki I shall go! :)
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Re: The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby Rev. Rowan Redbeard on Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:00 pm

I did it a while back, and have forgotten my answer, but remembered the reason it was "wrong".

(On a side note, would that be Illusions with a blue feather on the cover...? :D )
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Re: The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby nicci :) on Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:03 pm

Wawizzle wrote:There are other ambiguities in there as well.


Are the "the"s in the 12th line "Kools are smoked in the house next to the house where the horse is kept." possibly amiguous? (I'm not a native speaker though English is my best language and I teach it! *blush*) but that sentence really gave me trouble and the 'the' of English is a nightmare for me. And that was where I really had trouble with the puzzle.

Rev. Rowan Redbeard wrote:I did it a while back, and have forgotten my answer, but remembered the reason it was "wrong".

(On a side note, would that be Illusions with a blue feather on the cover...? :D )


Oh yes feathery illusions are the best :)
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Re: The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby Wawizzle on Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:07 pm

nicci \":)\" wrote:
Wawizzle wrote:There are other ambiguities in there as well.


Are the "the"s in the 12th line "Kools are smoked in the house next to the house where the horse is kept." possibly amiguous? (I'm not a native speaker though English is my best language and I teach it! *blush*) but that sentence really gave me trouble and the 'the' of English is a nightmare for me. And that was where I really had trouble with the puzzle.


It is, indeed!
wikipedia.org wrote:The premises leave out some details, notably that the houses are in a row.
Since neither water nor a zebra is mentioned in the clues, there exists a reductive solution to the puzzle, namely that no one owns a zebra or drinks water. If, however, the questions are read as “Given that one resident drinks water, which is it?” and “Given that one resident owns a zebra, which is it?” then the puzzle becomes a non-trivial challenge to inferential logic. (A frequent variant of the puzzle asks “Who owns the fish?”)
It is possible not only to deduce the answers to the two questions but to figure out who lives where, in what color house, keeping what pet, drinking what drink, and smoking what brand of cigarettes.
Rule 12 leads to a contradiction. It should have read "Kools are smoked in a house next to the house where the horse is kept." (Note "a" instead of "the.") The text above has been kept as it is, as it is meant to be a presentation of the text of the puzzle as originally published.
Rule 11 suffers from a similar problem as that just described regarding rule 12.
“We are often hesitant to look at other faiths or to examine our own critically because we feel that, in doing so, we are being disloyal to our own deeply felt convictions. ... And yet our beliefs are not worth very much if they cannot stand up to any scrutiny.” -- James Livingston.
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Re: The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby nicci :) on Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:11 pm

Apologies, I should have had more faith.

i went to wiki instead of waiting for an answer.

i think you replied quicker than the wiki page took to load!

thanks anyway... makes me feel less dumb blonde lol

30 minutes is still... :worship:
edit: though it should be said I stil don't really get it. I see there's something wrong but the explanation from the wiki... "it leads to a contradiction" doesn't actualy help as to why it is wrong lol.
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Re: The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby Wawizzle on Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:30 pm

When you say the word "the" instead of "a" in this sentence, it means that there is only 1 possible answer.

"the house next to house A" means that there is only 1.

"a house next to house A" means any house next to house A.


I have played a LOT of Sudoku and have finished hard puzzles in about 8 minutes. This puzzle was very similar to sudoku and I used similar tactics. So I had a lot of preparation. :D
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Re: The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby nicci :) on Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:41 pm

'the house where the horse is kept' seems like a noun phrase and 'the house next to the house where the horse is kept' does also.

and then I totally lose it lol

I did see that it could be either side so maybe that contradicion wasn't the problem.
Got it right, so should be happy with that I guess, no? (yeh even I know the answer is 'no' too lol). Nice thread though.
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Re: The Zebra Puzzle (Einstein's riddle)

Postby Mad Willyum Bonney on Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:27 pm

I remember our 5th grade teachure having us as a class solve it .
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