Einstein’s Riddle

The story behind Einstein’s riddle is that Albert Einstein created it in the late 1800s, and claimed that 98% of the world population couldn’t solve it. Personally I think that both claims are rubbish, but hey, it’s a good story! Don’t let that detract you from an entertaining puzzle though, approach it a bit like suduko and you won’t go far wrong.

There are several versions of the puzzle with different questions and answers, but all work the same way. It is a good brain exercise. I managed it over my lunch break. Here it is:

– In a street there are five houses, painted five different colours.
– In each house lives a person of different nationality.
– These five homeowners each drink a different kind of beverage, smoke different brand of cigar and keep a different pet.

Einstein’s riddle is: Who owns the fish?

Necessary clues:
1. The British man lives in a red house.
2. The Swedish man keeps dogs as pets.
3. The Danish man drinks tea.
4. The Green house is next to, and on the left of the White house.
5. The owner of the Green house drinks coffee.
6. The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
7. The owner of the Yellow house smokes Dunhill.
8. The man living in the center house drinks milk.
9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.
10. The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
11. The man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
12. The man who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.
13. The German smokes Prince.
14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
15. The Blends smoker lives next to the one who drinks water.

Good luck!

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Ian Sturrock 12 October 2009, 8:27 pm

    I did that one a while back — found it surprisingly quick & easy, but, yeah, it was a good bit of brain exercise.

  • Ari Mäenpää 28 October 2009, 7:42 pm

    Hi, This is excellent example of Einstein’s genious. The idea is too see larger picture. It is important to say that only 2% of people will find it out because for example to me it was most important hint. This is not logical problem because you cannot solve it using pure logic.

    Yes, very fast you can find out that German does not have pet… But logically you cannot say that pet is fish, because there are nowhere mentioned that missing pet is Fish! And now when you know this you can do this test, send this riddle to 100 of your friends and notice that approximately you will get 2 “correct” answers, because they are looking larger problem!

    Ps. It is shame that Finns are not mentioned in that riddle.. 🙂

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