So how did you go solving Einstein’s Riddle of the Neighbours? Are you ready for the answer?
Maybe you got a great head for logic. Did you draw a table or grid to help you get the answer? Or maybe you wrote out a list of clues and rearranged them that way.
One other methods for solving Einstein’s Neighbour puzzle would be to write all of the items onto Post-It notes or scrap pieces of paper. Then physically arrange them until your layout matches all of the clues Albert gave us.
The answer: The German owns the fish.
How is this answer derived?
Logically, the problem can be broken down as such:
There are 5 houses lined up – so the easiest way to represent this is as 5 boxes, each with 5 traits – nationality, color, beverage, cigar, and pet. I used a spreadsheet for this and made 5 seperate sheets – one representing each house.
Each sheet had the following:
Now, its a process of elimination. This is where things can get tricky if you don’t have things written out. As soon as you figure out a trait for one of the houses, eliminate that trait from all other houses.
First, we know that the norwegian lives in the first house, so he cant live in the others. We also know that the center house drinks milk, so we can eliminate that, and also that the norwegian lives next to the blue house – house 2 is therefore blue.
The green house is on the LEFT of the white house, meaning the norwegian cannot live in a green or white house since it is on the end (ruling out white – no houses are to the left of it) and since the house next to it is already established as blue (ruling out green). This also means that the middle house cannot be white, since the house to the left of it is blue.
At this point, house 1 can be yellow or red – except that a brit lives in a red house, and house 1 is owned by a norwegian. So, house 1 is yellow, eliminating yellow from the other houses. We also know that the man living in the yellow house smokes dunhill – so we can mark that as house 1 too.
The man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes dunhill, so house 2 keeps horses. We also know the swede keeps dogs, so house 1 cannot keep dogs.
The Dane drinks tea, the green house drinks coffee, and the man who smokes blue master drinks beer – eliminating all of these from house 1. House 1 drinks water – the man who smokes blends lives next to the man who drinks water, so house 2 smokes blends.
House 5 cannot be green either, since the green house is to the left of the white house, and there is no house to the left of house 5.
House 2 is not a brit (house not red) or a swede (doesnt keep dogs). He also does not drink coffee (not in a green house), or drink beer (does not smoke blue master). He therefore drinks tea, which makes him a Dane.
House 3 cannot be green (drinks milk), which makes it red, and therefor owned by the brit.
This means house 5 is white, and house 4 is green. For house 3, we can also eliminate dogs (swede keeps dogs), blue master cigars (bluemaster smoker drinks beer), and prince (german smokes prince).
The green house drinks coffee – house 4 is green, so beer is eliminted from that. This means that the owner cannot smoke blue master, and therefore must smoke prince – making the owner german, and eliminating dogs as a possible pet. Thus, house 5 is a beer drinking swede who likes dogs.
We also know house 3 smokes pall mall, and therefore rears birds.
We now have our choices of who has fish narrowed to down to house 1 (norwegian) and house 4 (german). The final clue is that the man who smokes blends lives next to the man who keeps cats – house 2 smokes blends, so either house 3 or 1 rears cats. Since house 3 is already established as a bird lover, house 1 must rear cats – this eliminates cats from the German, and leaves only the fish. Therefore, the German owns fish.
Here’s the original Einstein’s Riddle on Neighbours.