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Let's Do Lunch

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JayLet's Do Lunch logic puzzleIf you're a regular visitor here, then you probably love casual games and puzzles as much as we do. Most of the games featured here are browser-based, but once or twice we've featured a puzzle or two that require the old-fashioned method of pencil and paper. The logic puzzles from Coudal Partners are what I'm referring to, and they've just published another one, called Let's Do Lunch, for the Thanksgiving (US) holiday.

The Set Up: Four movie actors are in a cafe, sitting together at a square table, like the one shown here with the seats numbered. They are discussing their most recent projects while waiting for their salads. Each has just returned from a different location where he or she was shooting a different type of film, one of which is a costume drama.

From the information provided can you figure out where each person sat, his or her full name, the location he or she had just returned from, and the type of movie each had shot?

There is, of course, a contest associated with this puzzle and fabulous prizes will be given away to 6 lucky winners, the top prize being an authentic Chicago deep-dish pizza. Visit the puzzle page for details.

Play Let's Do Lunch

If you love this type of logic puzzle, be sure to check out Puzzlers Paradise, a website filled with logic puzzles just like this that you can print out, or use an integrated Flash interface for solving them. Good stuff. =)

Best wishes, from all of us here at JIG, for a happy and safe holiday.


This game is......its alright


Its not really a game though


how are you suposed to do this?


Did I say it is a game? Sorry, I meant to call it a puzzle.

(To me, though, a puzzle *is* a game)

If you don't know how to do logic puzzles like this, try doing one over at Puzzler's Paradise using the nice chart-type interface they give you. That will give you a good idea how to solve these types of puzzles.


Done. But I want that pizza, so I'm not going to post the answer :)

Angelique Jackson November 21, 2007 5:45 PM

Can someone just post the fourth movie type - apparently I'm missing something - i have action thriller, romantic comedy, and sci fi. Help please :)


Is this puzzle explicitly solvable?

Just because someone did NOT shoot an action thriller, does not mean that someone else DID


Angelique - read the instructions very carefully.

Brad - True. It seems to be implied that all of the information provided applies to some member of the lunch party. Technically, you could get a correct answer by making half of the info up. (#2 didn't return from Tokyo? Well, they might have returned from Pluto!) Then again, you could take this logic to the extreme and say that the puzzle didn't specify the table in question, and assume that all the info applied to the table next to the one with the actors.


Actually, I think Brad is on to something. There is a crucial piece of information missing.

There isn't enough info to differentiate between the romantic comedy and the action movie, as far as I can see. Unless there is an inherent ordering implied in the "sat next to" statements, meaning to the left of, there are two solutions to the puzzle as stated. I think. But, maybe I just missed something major along the way...


I had the same problem as mikey. I get two possibly correct solutions (discrepancies bolded):
Solution 1

| Seat 1 |
| Robert Marks |
| Ireland |
| romantic comedy |
_____________________ _____________________
| Seat 4 | | Seat 2 |
| Glory Smith | | Hannah York |
| Hawaii | | Spain |
| action thriller | | science fiction |
|___________________| |___________________|
| Seat 3 |
| Julia Moon |
| Tokyo |
| costume drama |

Solution 2

| Seat 1 |
| Glory Marks |
| Ireland |
| action thriller |
_____________________ _____________________
| Seat 4 | | Seat 2 |
| Robert Smith | | Hannah York |
| Hawaii | | Spain |
| romantic comedy | | science fiction |
|___________________| |___________________|
| Seat 3 |
| Julia Moon |
| Tokyo |
| costume drama |


Ya I think you guys are right. As was said before, there appears to be multiple solutions unless you assume that seat #1 and seat #4 are not next to each other.

ChickenGenocide November 21, 2007 9:28 PM

Ok, i think i solved it. I'm sent it in and am waiting for an response. Here it is:

Robert Marks went to Ireland to shoot his Romantic Comedy sitting in seat 1.
Hannah York went to Spain to shoot her Sci Fi sitting in 2.
Julia Moon went to Tokyo to shoot her Costume Drama sitting in 3.
Glory Smith went to Hawaii to shoot her Action Thriller sitting in seat 4.
i had a few issues at the end because the last names for hannah and julia along with their movies could be interchangeable without affecting any of the clues,
i.e.: it could have been...
--Hannah Moon went to Spain to shoot her Costume Drama sitting in 2
--Julia York went to Tokyo to shoot her Sci Fi sitting in 3
... and nothing would have conflicted.

if anyone finds something wrong with this let me know.


I'm with mikey on this one. I'm usually good at this kind of puzzle, and unless I've missed something here I've found multiple solutions to this. I can go down the list and each of the eight solutions applies to more than one solution I've found.

Beyond the problems already brought up (Not from Tokyo? How about Pluto! Heh.) this puzzle is missing some other information that has to be inferred. You have to assume which names are first names and which are last names since only one, Smith, is explicitly labeled as either. I assumed that Glory, Julia, Robert, and Hannah were first names and that Moon, York, and Marks were last names. But I'm sure you could find examples of some of these being both first and last names, and changing those assumptions opens up even more possibilities than I've already found.


I got two solutions that worked...

I think the "sat next to" should have been a left or right then it would have only one answer (for me at least)

Is it safe to assume...

that Juila, Hannah, Robert, and Glory are first names... maybe that's where i went wrong... so it goes


I found five solutions that satisfy all 8 conditions...

I assumed the same thing as cracker, that is: glory, Robert, Julia and Hannah are first name

if they specify which side they're sitting next to each other (left or right), the solution may be unique


Is it just me or was this pretty easy? Here's what I got -

Seat 1: Robert Marks, shooting a Romantic Comedy from Ireland, Seat 2: Hannah York, shooting Sci-Fi in Spain, Seat 3: Julia Moon, shooting a Costume Drama in Tokyo, Seat 4: Glory Smith, shooting Action in Hawaii.

Anyway, it seemed a little too easy - this is either because I made a huge mistake that I'm not noticing, or it's because I teach the LSAT and this stuff is just another logic game for me...


admittedly, i haven't looked at any of the above comments because i fear spoilers to the solution. but if someone could tell me...

is it safe to assume that the first names are glory, robert, hannah, and julia, and that the surnames are york, marks, smith, and moon?

usually, logic puzzles like this will be clearer about this sort of thing.

and if the above is true, then... i think i hit an impasse. X( so much for a free pizza...


I assumed the following first names

Hannah, Julia, Robert, and Glory

and the following last names

York, Marks, Smith, and Moon

and I assumed "sat next to" could mean either on the left or the right because it didn't specify. I figured something out that works with all the clues, so it's definitely possible without the left or right thing.

I thought this was very fun :) It reminded me of the puzzles I did in elementary school only a tad harder. Plus, the added possibility of a pizza is awesome :D

bearstronaut November 22, 2007 12:47 AM

That's pretty sneaky and misleading. You would assume from the picture that the puzzle involves 2 men and 2 women. Poor Glory, from birth she was cursed with male pattern baldness and hairy forearms.


I did this in 15 minutes. I wrote the answers down. They're now in the bin so I can't clarify. But what's being said about whether they sit to the left or right, I remember there being an explicit condition that had to be adhered to if you worked your way around the given conditions...


I love this kind of puzzles.

Unfortunately, this one isn't very good, providing there are at least 2 correct solutions. I have them in front of me just now and am fool-proofing them three times, just in case I missed a sneaky clause (like a he/she or something like that).

captainlepton November 22, 2007 8:00 AM

I found one and only one way to satisfy the restraints given:

Seat 1

Glory Moon filmed a Costume Drama in Ireland

Seat 2

Hannah York filmed a SciFi Film in Spain

Seat 3

Julia Marks filmed an Action Thriller in Tokyo

Seat 4

Robert Smith filmed a Romantic Comedy in Hawaii


Hi everyone

I think there is only *one* combination of firstnames/surname pairs that provides a unique solution. All other "assumptions" about which are firstnames and which are surnames yield multiple solutions ... and are therefore wrong.



Just throwing it out there - I haven't had the time to go through it yet, but here's another way of thinking of it, might help some of you. (It's not an answer, just an interpretation of the names).

"Marks is" was supposed to be "Mark's," and it's a typo? Leaving Hannah to be a last name.


I tossed the conditions into a constraint solver. if you don't assume which names are first or last names, then there are 29 solutions.

example solution

1: Robert Hannah, romantic comedy in Ireland
2: Glory Smith, action thriller in Spain
3: Julia Marks, costume drama in Hawaii
4: Moon York, science fiction in Tokyo

actually, it's more than 29, because my solver thinks "Moon York" and "York Moon" are the same name. the rules only clearly identify that "Smith" is a lastname, and either "Glory" or "Robert" is a firstname.

so each of those 29 solutions has 8 permutations, which means there are 232 solutions.


My view upon the whole firstname/surname thing.

Remember, that in these logic puzzles you are always given ALL the information you need, and that none of the information put in the clues, is void (unless of course the clue would be "Sean, who is not redhaired, walks around with a blue balloon", in which case the blue balloon information would probably be void).

Therefore, because #2 didn't return from Tokyo, it DOES in fact mean that someone else did, and that #2 could have only returned from one of the places mentioned in the clues, and NOT from Pluto.

I think it is safe to say that Robert, Julia and Hannah are all first names.

Since it says that Robert isn't Moon, Moon must be a surname, otherwise that information would be void.
Since it says that between Glory and Robert, one of them is surnamed Smith, both Glory and Robert must be first names, otherwise it would be too obvious an information, if one was a surname and one a first name.

Therefore the first names are Hannah, Julia, Robert and Glory, and the surnames are York, Moon, Marks and Smith


I also seem to have discovered multiple solutions. I worked through the puzzle alone, before reading the comments here, using logic to link the facts together until I was left with three possible solutions, each one seeming to satisfy all the necessary criteria.

Having the following piece of information would undoubtedly narrow it down to one unique solution:

Anything that would determine the seat where Moon was sitting.


Actually, I think there's another that I overlooked because I was too lazy to check something again.

If this is the case, knowing the following would be useful too:

The seat where Glory or Robert was sitting.



If you're coming up with multiple possible answers, they're wrong. There is only one combination that fits all the criteria *and* where none of them can be swapped further. If you've got Glory and Robert easily shifting firstnames, for instance, you've gone wrong elsewhere.


I'm sorry, but all things considered, this is a pretty lousy logical puzzle. A misleading picture, needless name/surname confusion, faulty use of negative clause...

I hope someone at least gets a pizza out of this mess.


baba, a misleading picture? If you're referring to the fact that you can not count on the sexes displayed on the picture, that is perfectly normal. It's like that with most logic puzzles that have illustrations, and they do say on the website that the picture is only there to show you the ordering of the seats. Knowing the sexes too from the picture, it would begin to be a little too far from a logic puzzle.

And I'm not really sure what you mean with a faulty negative clause.

I can see why the names could potentially cause a little confusion, but I'd say that if you think logically about it, and you've done these before, there's nothing new to or bad about this particular logic puzzle.

A bit of common sense is always a good idea too.


"If you're coming up with multiple possible answers, they're wrong. There is only one combination that fits all the criteria *and* where none of them can be swapped further. If you've got Glory and Robert easily shifting firstnames, for instance, you've gone wrong elsewhere"

Why do you say this? I've come up with two solutions that have relatively easy swapping (Julia and Hannah can switch last names and movies), which clearly fulfill all of the criteria. I have read through the instructions several times and am convinced that my answers meet all of the criteria (I came up with three answers that meet every criterion before getting cranky.)


I too have found multiple, provably correct solutions, under the sensible assumption that Hannah, Richard, Julia and Glory are first names and the others surnames.

My feeling is that the puzzle is broken, but it's certainly possible that a a single unique solution exists for one and only one assignment of first and second names, working from no initial assumptions about which are first names and surnames (i.e. precisely four of {Hannah, Richard, Julia, Glory, Moon, York, Marks, Smith} are surnames and the others first names, with no restrictions).

It strikes me that there are a lot of people contributing to these comments who lack a formal education in logic or mathematics.


What do you consider as a formal education in mathematics or logic? I have to note here that this is a game site, and everyone here is trying to have a good time. Naturally, most people here are pretty average and may not have that type of education you described. (as i interpret it, formal education means at least a degree)


I have found two solutions for which I'm ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY sure they fit all the clauses. I'm also fairly certain there are at least two more, and perhaps as many as sixteen in total.

So, yes, with being pretty sure my sense is quite common, I think this is a pretty lousy logic puzzle.

captainlepton November 29, 2007 5:33 AM

baba44713, the easy way to show you are right is to share the two solutions you claim to have found with us, then we can all take a look and see if there is, ahem, some minor flaw in your reasoning!

I found my solution without having to resort to any guesswork apart from a minor point about only half of the names:

Glory and Robert have to be first names from clue #8 and similarly Moon and Smith must be their respective surnames from clues #7 and #8 taken together.
Julia and Hannah are firstnames and Marks and York are surnames. These are the only assumptions I needed to make, and that on the basis of common sense and normal English names.
Yes, I have heard of Raul Julia and Daryl Hannah but I never heard of Marks or York as firstnames. This is the only potenetial flaw I found in the puzzle.


Could anyone tell me

why it is that Hannah did a sci-fi film? I'm really stuck and can't find a single thread of logic from which to pull a solution. If someone could explain to me how they came upon that conclusion, I could move forward.

captainlepton November 30, 2007 4:13 AM

Ryuko and anyone who can't get in to this:

One of the key logical techniques you need here is called "The process of elimination."

Simply put, you create a grid of all possible combinations, in this case I recommend a circle as there are spatial clues which are easier to use if you have the seat positions laid out visually. You then start crossing off the combinations as the clues dictate. Sometimes, you will be able to say that one result is definitely true and therefore it is false elsewhere

, e.g. clue #3 says Julia is in seat 3. You immediately cross off all the other first names for seat 3, you are left with Julia and then, and this is the important bit, you cross off Julia from all the other seats.

Sometimes, as you keep on doing this, you will find that you are left with only one choice for a particular result. When you have this situation, you have eliminated all the other possibilities and you have another answer!


It's not the logical process that's eluding me here. I have a grid, a table (the chart kind) that clarifies what's on the grid, and a diagram of the table (in the puzzle). My issue is that I can't pull anything more out of the information given that helps. I'm stuck. I was asking for an explanation of your logic on that point, to see if it would help identify what I was missing.

I haven't even thought of this puzzle all day and I still can't figure anything more out.

Hikky Burr December 6, 2007 2:23 AM

Well, the solution was posted today, and it reveals what many of us had expected

Rule #5 was written incorrectly, since the solution assumes that only Julia could be Marks. The rule is actually written to place Marks on either side of Hanna (from Spain), so simply saying that it has to be Julia is an unfounded assumption.

In order for the given solution to be the only correct one, rule #5 would have to be rewritten to state that Marks is sitting to the left of the actor returning from Spain.


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