Who Owns The Fish? Solution


There are five houses in a row and each house is a different color.

A different man lives in each house and is from a different country.

Each person drinks a certain drink, plays a certain sport, and keeps a certain pet.

No two people drink the same drink, play the same sport, or raise the same pet.

Use the following 15 facts to determine who owns the fish.

  1. The Brit lives in a red house
  2. The Swede keeps dogs
  3. The Dane drinks tea
  4. The green house is on the left of the white house
  5. The green house owner drinks coffee
  6. The person who plays polo rears birds
  7. The owner of the yellow house plays hockey
  8. The man living in the house right in the center drinks milk
  9. The Norwegian lives in the first house
  10. The man who plays baseball lives next to the man who keeps cats
  11. The man who keeps horses lives next to the one who plays hockey
  12. The man who plays billiards drinks beer
  13. The German plays soccer
  14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house
  15. The man who plays baseball has a neighbor who drinks water.




Solution:

It is easiest to start with a table of the various house colors, nationalities, drinks, sports and pets. This helps us to determine what information we have used and what still needs to be put into the table.

Colors: Countries: Drink: Sport: Pet:
         
Red Brit Tea Polo Dogs
Green Swede Coffee Hockey Bird
White Dane Milk Baseball Cats
Yellow Norwegian Beer Billiards Horses
Blue German Water Soccer Fish

Next, we need to create a table. We shall use the following categories:

House Color        
Nationality        
Drink        
Sport        
Pets        

And so, now we shall use the above 15 facts to fill in the table. It is best not to go through the facts in order. Rather, by trying to use the options that limit the number of possibilities.

We begin with fact #9 that the Norwegian lives in the first house.

         
Norwegian        
         
         
         

Next we use fact #14 that the Norwegian lives next to the blue house.

  Blue      
Norwegian        
         
         
         

Now, we have to interpret fact #4 to mean that the green house is directly to the left of the white house. This gives us two possible options.

  Blue Green White  
Norwegian        
         
         
         


  Blue   Green White
Norwegian        
         
         
         

Next, we use fact #1 that the Brit lives in the Red house. (There is only one option in each of the two above.)

  Blue Green White Red
Norwegian       Brit
         
         
         


  Blue Red Green White
Norwegian   Brit    
         
         
         

Now, we can use both fact #5 (Green house drinks coffee) and fact #7 (Yellow house plays hockey). Note: The only remaining house has to be the yellow house.

Yellow Blue Green White Red
Norwegian       Brit
    Coffee    
Hockey        
         


Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian   Brit    
      Coffee  
Hockey        
         

Next, we use fact #8 that the owner of the center house drinks milk. This eliminates our first possibility, so we see that the Brit drinks milk.

Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian   Brit    
    Milk Coffee  
Hockey        
         

Using fact #11 (the man with Horses lives next to the man who plays Hockey), we have the following.

Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian   Brit    
    Milk Coffee  
Hockey        
  Horses      

Using fact #3 (The Dane drinks tea), we have two possibilities.

Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian Dane Brit    
  Tea Milk Coffee  
Hockey        
  Horses      


Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian   Brit   Dane
    Milk Coffee Tea
Hockey        
  Horses      

Now we use fact #2 (The Swede has dogs) to create three possibilities.

Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian Dane Brit Swede  
  Tea Milk Coffee  
Hockey        
  Horses   Dogs  


Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian Dane Brit   Swede
  Tea Milk Coffee  
Hockey        
  Horses     Dogs


Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian   Brit Swede Dane
    Milk Coffee Tea
Hockey        
  Horses   Dogs  

Now, it is easy to apply fact #13 (The German plays soccer). There is only one place that this fits in each of the above three possibilities.

Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian Dane Brit Swede German
  Tea Milk Coffee  
Hockey       Soccer
  Horses   Dogs  


Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian Dane Brit German Swede
  Tea Milk Coffee  
Hockey     Soccer  
  Horses     Dogs


Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian German Brit Swede Dane
    Milk Coffee Tea
Hockey Soccer      
  Horses   Dogs  

Next, we use fact #12 (The man who plays Billiards also drinks Beer) to eliminate all but the second option, leaving us with just one option.

Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian Dane Brit German Swede
  Tea Milk Coffee Beer
Hockey     Soccer Billiards
  Horses     Dogs

Now, using fact #6 (The man who plays Polo also has birds), we see that it only fits with the Brit.

Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian Dane Brit German Swede
  Tea Milk Coffee Beer
Hockey   Polo Soccer Billiards
  Horses Birds   Dogs

There is only one position for the man who plays Baseball (The Dane).

Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian Dane Brit German Swede
  Tea Milk Coffee Beer
Hockey Baseball Polo Soccer Billiards
  Horses Birds   Dogs

Using fact #15 (The man who drinks Water is a neighbor of the man who plays Baseball) and fact #10 (The man with Cats lives next to the man who plays Baseball) to fill in the rest of the table.

Note: We have to assume that in fact #15, neighbor refers to next door neighbor, not just one of the five nearby houses.

Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian Dane Brit German Swede
Water Tea Milk Coffee Beer
Hockey Baseball Polo Soccer Billiards
Cats Horses Birds   Dogs

And so, we see that there is only one spot left not filled in. The question asks who owns the fish. Now, since we must assume that one of the five owns the fish, in which case the German would own the fish. Thus, our completed table looks like the following:

Yellow Blue Red Green White
Norwegian Dane Brit German Swede
Water Tea Milk Coffee Beer
Hockey Baseball Polo Soccer Billiards
Cats Horses Birds Fish Dogs




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