10 August 2005

Whose Fish Is This? I Know

Pre-dating Eddie Izzard's idea for the gameshow "Whose Pig Is This?", there is a logic puzzle where you have to work out who owns the fish. Despite the story, it was not created by Albert Einstein. If you can solve it within 20 minutes you are suposed to be in the most intelligent 2% of the world. I did, but after all I was also in Mensa! Enough self praise, test your logic abilities... I can confirm the answer if you want to email me.

There are five houses in a row in different colors. In each house lives a person with a different nationality. The five owners drink a different drink, smoke a different brand of cigar and keep a different pet, one of which is a Walleye Pike. The question is -- who owns the fish?

1. The Brit lives in the red house.
2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
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 smokes Pall Malls keeps birds.
7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhills.
8. The man living in the house right in the center drinks milk.
9. The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
10. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
11. The man who keeps horses lives next to the one who smokes Dunhills.
12. The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer.
13. The German smokes Princes.
14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
15. The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water.


  1. I used a computer to solve this elementary problem in under five minutes.

  2. Wildey, you are an utter cretin.

  3. Well, if that wasn't enough for you, here's the double question "Zebra Puzzle"...

    Five men with different nationalities live in the first five houses of a street. They practise five distinct professions, and each of them has a favourite animal and a favourite drink, all of them different. The five houses are painted in different colours. (In some versions they smoke different brands of cigarettes too, but that's apparently no longer politically correct, so they all quit.)

    The Englishman lives in the red house.
    The Spaniard owns a dog.
    The Japanese is a painter.
    The Italian drinks tea.
    The Norwegian lives in the first house on the left.
    The owner of the green house drinks coffee.
    The green house is on the right of the white one.
    The sculptor breeds snails.
    The diplomat lives in the yellow house.
    Milk is drunk in the middle house.
    The Norwegian's house is next to the blue one.
    The violinist drinks fruit juice.
    The fox is in a house next to that of the doctor.
    The horse is in a house next to that of the diplomat.

    Q. Who owns a Zebra, and who drinks water?

  4. I could go and visit an online logic matrix generator and pump out a puzzle like the above too, but I can't be bothered. Instead I offer an entirely different puzzle:

    Puzzle Wording:

    Lassie like 100 dogs,
    100 dogs liked him,
    and every dog knew 3
    more dogs and five
    more all called Jim.


    How many dogs?

    That was the puzzle on "big game tv" last night. One of those dodgy shows where you have to phone a premium rate number to answer. Anyway, people phoned non-stop for an hour and a half and noone got it... The wording is a little ambiguous. But based on what the presenter said, you can make the following assumption. Lassie a dog. It got to 3am and since noone had guessed it, they changed the puzzle to a simpler one, without giving the answer!!!! I was fricking furious. I am fairly sure I know the answer, and noone said it the
    90 minutes I watched. I am ashamed to admit, I got so worked up I actually phoned the number twice towards the end... cost me £1.20...

  5. I saw this too!! I made the answer 1801 (1+100+100) = 201 then, (200 x 3) = 600, then (200 x 5) = 1000. So 201 + 600 + 1000 = 1801

    But I guess we can never know!! lol

  6. Lassie (1) liked 100 dogs (101), 100 dogs likes him (201).

    Every dog knows 3 more dogs (201 x 3 = 603) and five more all called Jim (201 x 5 = 1005).

    201 + 603 + 1005 = 1809 that is just 5 short. Have I missed any dog out that needs to know another five Jims?

    Also, what are you guys doing watching ITV2 at 3am on a Wednesday morning?

  7. Are we all just posultating or was the answer actually revealed during this morning's "Big Game TV"?

  8. FWIW my original idea was to find the lowest number of dogs possible.

    Lassie (1) likes 100 dogs (101), 100 dogs like him (same hundred, 101)

    Every dog knows 3 more dogs (all 101 know the same 3 dogs, 104, and those "three new dogs" need to know 3 further dogs, who in turn know the first lot of "three more dogs", making 107)

    And a further 5 all called Jim (all 107 dogs know 5 dogs called jim, total is 112).

  9. My previous answer was on a similar idea but that every dog knows 3 of the same 101 dogs and the 5 called Jim are part of the 101.

  10. I have received confirmation from the biggame.tv folks that the answer was 1814.

  11. My working from above got us to 1809. Could the final five be an additional "and five more all called Jim" (pretty lame and I can't justify it from the text)? Can anyone else rationalise this answer?

  12. The answer is 1814

    Lassie is 1 dog, who knows 100 dogs =101. 100 more dogs (not the previous 100) know Lassie =201

    every dog knew 3 more dogs (just 3, not 3 each) These 3 dogs also knew 3 dogs = 6 and the five called Jim knew 3. 6+3 = 9.

    There are 5 called Jim (They could be called anything) = 5

    201 * 9 = 1809 + 5 = 1814

  13. Forgive me for not following this but I can't see the reasoning behind multiplying 201 by 9 (other than to give the answer!).

    We have 201 dogs and for each of them:
    they knew 3 more dogs, who in turn knew a further three more dogs (currently 6 per dog)

    At the end five more dogs (called Jim) are added on (fair enough)

    How does the "five called Jim" knowing three more dogs mean that you add it to the above six and multiple it by 201? Surely the five called Jim just get multipled by 3 then.

    I think I have the correct solution though:

    We have 201 dogs (no real problem getting to here).
    Each of those dogs know three more dogs and those three know a further three dogs (as EVERY dog knows three more dogs) which means 201 * ( 3 * 3) = 201 * 9 = 1809
    And there are five more all called Jim, 1809 + 5 = 1814. QED!

    Any other reasonings? Big Game TV won't tell us the method as it's their IP!!!

  14. Of the 201, consider just one. By your rationale, that one dog knows three dogs
    who each know three others = 1 + 3 + (3 * 3) = 13. 13 * 201 gets us 2613, which is too high...