# Whose Fish?

Remember those logic puzzles that I raved about recently? Well, here is one with which you have a chance to win concert CDs by the Pixies and Dead Can Dance!

And for those who enjoy a good challenge, they claim that this logic puzzle was written by Albert Einstein himself, and that 98% of the people in the world could not figure it out. Which percentage are you in?

The contest is being run by Coudal Partners, the same people behind The Show, who are responsible for recording the latest live tours of both the Pixies and Dead Can Dance.

But hurry, you must solve the puzzle and send in your answers to the Coudal Partners website by Monday, August 8th. Click.

I've seen this a lot before, not on that website though.

Also, maybe when Einstein was alive 98% of people couldn't figure it out (or maybe he was just an elitist nut, or both), but most people can figure out that question now-adays. Meh.

Hmm... this one is a noodle-scratcher. There are so many variables. I'll be up all night with this one. Yay for insomniacs!

> but most people can figure out that question now-adays. Meh.

Ok, smartypants, then go win that contest and share those CDs with me. =)

Okay man. =D

Really though, this question is common in any generic puzzle book. You just draw a chart and put in X's and O's.

You seriously need to cut down on the links.. You have to read between the lines to really know WHICH link is the game url

I'm 14, and i finished the puzzle...i didn't draw a grid, though...

This is the kind of thing they like to shove down our throats in math class when no lesson has been planned. Gotta love that prize though. Pixies.. want!

Ramosa - just click on the image of each entry, that's sure to take you to the game every time!

And I include links that I believe are important or relevant to the discussion. It's not all about just providing you with game links, my friend. =)

cheers!

August 4, 2005 12:37 PM

Wha--this is the same puzzle from The Museum, only with different variables!!

Making a grid didn't help me much at all... I ended up with a wrong answer, associating cats and pall malls, which won't work. (hint 6) So I scrapped the grid and solved it by making a few lists.

I hate to disagree, Alex, but Einstein's estimate (if his) was accurate enough for me. I've seen many people toss much easier logic puzzles aside in frustration, and when I took logic in college, half of the students in my class cheated to pass. (Me, I gobbled up the homework as if it were candy.)

I won't give a spoiler for the solution, but I can offer a place to start: Try to picture what the row of houses looks like before deciding what is inside each. ;)

Good luck, and thanks for passing on the challenge, Jay!

Pretty fun little logic puzzle. Took about an hr and half to solve.

And making up both a grid and writing down the row of houses makes things much more bearable.

if i was to win, if i could figure this out, you'd be the first person i'd send them too. = )

so, off i go to try to figure it out!

isn't this like the puzzle in The Casino?

Finished! (Age: 19)

I knew all those puzzles of Sudoku would pay off. :)

August 4, 2005 3:26 PM

got it, (age 17)
i think this was way too easy to be solvable by only 2% of the population...also to see many who have solved it posting here.

I like to think the people who visit jayisgames are of that rare 2% and hence, are the smartest people on the planet. =)

lol @ jay.

i think i botched my grid up. = /

are there any other techniques to solve this?

Brandon - check out the logic puzzles site that I reviewed previously and referenced in this entry. There are loads of puzzles there with well-designed grids. Use those as a guide to create your own. That should help you out. ;)

I just made a list for eachh category and listed all of the possibilities under. I used the "house number" category as a base category and put all details that matched with a house there. Then if i had a detail the didn't have to do with that category, i stuck it next to it's related item. Probably too confusing to help, Brandon, but I can hope!
-Joe, 14, Cleveland, OH

thanks, guys. i shall try once more then. = )

I've seen a similar version of this puzzle, too, and I have a really hard time believing Einstein made this puzzle. I haven't heard of him making other puzzles, and the 98% thing is totally elitist. It sounds more to me like someone came up with this puzzle, and someone else found it and said "O ho! This puzzle was surely made by a super smart guy! It must have been EINSTEIN, the ULTIMATE SMARTY MAN!" and forwarded it to everyone in his email address book.

That said, if 98% of people can't solve this, it's because they can't be bothered to solve a logic puzzles with five variables with five possibilities each. I'd think Einstein would be smart enough to figure that out.

I'll have a go at it anyway.

(Also, why is everyone posting their age? It doesn't matter.)

I'm sorry six variables! Because that totally makes it better.

I feel stupid. I was working on this puzzle for just about two hours, and was going insane trying to figure it out. I'm normally pretty good with solving these things, but I gave up, and looked up a site that pretty much had a walkthrough for it.

Here's the part that kills me. For his explanation of #4, the green house is on the left of the white house, he wrote it as literally being the first house directly to the left. I've done many puzzles where if it says 'to the left' or something similiar, it doesnt necessarily mean first spot directly to the left, it just has to be any spot over in that direction. (sorry if that's confusing).

So, determined to figure this out on my own, I wrote up a new chart, and used #4 as explained on that webpage, and I solved the thing in like 10 minutes. BAAAAH! Just a tad frustrating. ;) Over-analying that one hint screwed up EVERYTHING! So i hope that helps out anyone who might be doing what I did...have fun!

just read that last part of my comment, about wanting to figure it out on my own....and that kinda makes no sense since I said that I had to find a walkthrough...What I meant is that I wanted to be able to come to the same conclusion for myself. I mean come on, what good is knowing the answer if you have no idea how to get there.

August 4, 2005 7:04 PM

What a coincidence, I found this puzzle last week in a book and solved it. It helps if you write the stuff out.

Just want to say that I've been visiting this site for a while and I love it. So, keep up the good work Jay. And I figured this one out in about 45 minutes with a grid...the only way I know how to do logic problems :P

That puzzle was easy, and that's coming from someone thirteen years old.

Okay, yeah, that was pretty okay. I wasted a lot of time grilling the puzzle itself looking for crazy syllogisms when I should've been looking at the clues more, but I got it. It's funny because I used to be really good at these but I couldn't do any on the logic puzzle site you posted. It must help to physically write it out.

jay, if you really wanted those Pixies CDs, you'd have waited until Tuesday to post this and increase your odds of winning.

Kid, i'm 8 and I figured this out! took 45 min.

A warning to all of those who boast about their ability to solve this puzzle at a young age:

This may seem easy to you now, but there are plenty of adults out there who haven't touched puzzles in years, either because they're tired from work, or assume such things are for children. They have since lost their ability to solve things like this, as well as their will.

So, defy conformity, and keep practicing logic puzzles into your old age, and, someday, you may just have an edge over the average guy. ;)

haha! thanks for the tip, karmen...

August 4, 2005 9:26 PM

its obvious whose fish it is, its my fish, you cant have it. now wheres my prize?

August 4, 2005 10:55 PM

I actually found a breakdown of why this COULD NOT have been written by Einstein in the 19th century--mostly because some of those brands of cigarettes were created post-1930 or so.

Where do you get 19th century? Einstein was alive until 1955.

The puzzle took me longer than it should have, but I'm in agreement with those who've posted saying the 98% bit is more a matter of willpower than intellect: certainly any literate person could be _trained_ to do this sort of puzzle even if he or she lacked the intuition for it (if not, test centers like Kaplan and The Princeton Review wouldn't make millions off of future lawyers).

I'm 16, and it took me about 10 minutes to work out, with 5 little sticky notes and a pen. really, I find that there is just one hard leap in logic to go from virtually nothing to everything. I don't want to give away much though so I'll shut up now.

Thanks for the great finds, jay!

i posted it up for all my friends and they got it within 10-15 minutes, if not less. Made me feel so good...= P

but alas, i highly doubt that this is einsteins. either way, i certainly hope i win.

So, the logic puzzle in Casino was probably modeled after this one, I'm guessing. Yet, for some reason, I got this puzzle in a matter of minutes and the one in Casino just baffled me! Maybe I should try it again...

August 5, 2005 1:21 AM

Whoo -hoo. Even in my infirm condition at age 40, I, too, managed to fumble my way through to the correct answer without the benefit of grids, sticky notes or pens, just used my fingers. I hope the rest of you oldtimers don't get too tired and give up!

Here's another challenge, one much more difficult than Whose Fish?. I believe that 100% of people will be incapable of success. The challenge is to find any evidence at all that Einstein ever made puzzles, either this one or another.

Yes, he was smart, but Einstein was smart in physics. He did not make puzzles! And he certainly wouldn't be so arrogant as to claim 98% of people couldn't solve them, because there's no way to know that and it simply isn't true.

Sorry, but Urban Legends bother me.

I'm 4, and it took me 5 minutes and 40 seconds to finish it, including a potty break.

Also, I am a liar.

(but I really did finish it)

ACLS is probably correct that Einstein did not compose this--obviously "Einstein" commonly functions as a metaphor for extreme cleverness--but two implications of his post are, I think, misguided. First, Einstein is surely one of the most biographized figures of the twentieth century, so I doubt it would be difficult to track down evidence of his having composed puzzles should such evidence exist (I don't know of any, as Einstein has not been an object of study, but given his fairly late-in-life coming to "professional" physics, I wouldn't be surprised if he dabbled in puzzles while a schoolteacher or working in the patent office). Second, the idea that Einstein's being "smart in physics" contradicts claims about his authoring the puzzle is absurd: many if not most of the great physicists were nearly as accomplished in other disciplines. Among Einstein's contemporaries, Heisenberg and Schroedinger wrote notable philosophical tracts, Born wrote and spoke extensively of the social responsibility of scientists, and (later) Feynman dabbled in just about everything.

For what it's worth, I am 32 and have multiple advanced degrees in physics and the humanities, but it still took me the better part of an hour to solve this puzzle. Damn, these kids are smart!

August 5, 2005 3:43 PM

I'm with ACLS on this one. My suspicion is that it's related to another urban legend, namely, that Einstein said 98% of people only use 10% of their brain (he is not known to have said that).

Same sort of scenario. This is a hard puzzle, thus you must use all your brain. Einstein said 98% people don't, therefore Einstein said 98% of people can't do this problem.

I also have it on authority of the New York Times that the Dane and the horse drank the german's beer.

August 5, 2005 4:23 PM

Well the big complicated grid didn't work, so I tried a simpler one and got it in about 2 minutes. And I'm 114 years old.

thanks jay! (=

i feel smarter now!

I must be wicked smaaaat! This 2% person is:

Blue house
American
Peach Snapple
Nicorette Gum
Bulldog

Thx!

Gaaargh!

I went with the rule that the green house was left of the white house....i.e. any number of houses to the left!

That makes the grid much much much more difficult, and in fact, the fish can belong to any one of three people, with a total of 7 different possible combinations in solutions for all the items.

How do I know there are 7 different possible solutions in this case? I gave up and wrote a program to solve it for me...

The clue says "The green house is on the left of the white house" You shouldn't assume that it means any munber of houses TO the left. It's ON the left. That being said, it doesn't matter whether you are facing the house or the street when considering LEFT and it doesn't matter which end of the street you start on.

100 year old (maybe someday)

This thing about Einstein having come up with this: reported on FOX news, was it?

just a thought. I did it with a sheet of paper and paired off variables. it took me 3 hours. I then tried it with a grid after reading the comments section and it took maybe 10 minutes.

I suck :)

I dont care how old i am, What i do for a living, But i cant do it

I found it most helpful to use a spreadsheet program, such as OpenOffice Calc or MS Excel, to draw a solving chart. Choose one list of variables (such as red, green, etc.) and make them the column headings. Then head the rows with the general category names, such as nationality, pet type, position of house, etc.

Now you can reduce the list of clues to simple relationships and express them visually in the spreadsheet. For instance, where you see a clue of the form "The owner of X is Y," you can put X and Y together in one column. If it's not obvious where it fits yet, type it in a separate area of the spreadsheet. After a while, you'll build up a set of 'puzzle pieces' which will only fit together in one way, and you can highlight the cells and copy them into their proper places. It helps to enter multiple values in single cells - for instance, if you know that a house number is larger than 3, you can enter "4,5" under house position and eliminate the wrong number later.

Using this system, I solved this puzzle under ten minutes. However, I've solved this puzzle under a different guise in the past, and I had much more trouble the first time. %?)

I loved this puzzle; I solved it! ;)

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