Einstein’s Puzzle

I’ve been looking at logic puzzles as a break from all the frenzied examination related activities. An internet search will inevitably throw up the old nugget known as Einstein’s IQ quiz or puzzle. The wiki entry has a variant called the Zebra puzzle and at least a proper reference.


The claim is that Einstein said only 2% of the world’s population can solve it. It’s funny because here is the quote extracted from the website of a prominent local character who wrote a book to teach this type of puzzle. This guy was the former head of a local insurance company and is a trained actuary, so he would know some maths.

I was introduced to a website containing a quiz called “Einstein’s Intelligence Quiz”… I wish to teach my technique to you in this book. I am sure that you will be able to make it to the 2 percent who can solve the quiz.

If Einstein really stated the 2% criteria, he must have meant it to be people who has the logical prowess to solve the problem, not those who are trained to be the 2%. Of course, I have to agree that training does help. The principle is just like sudoku.

Now here is the puzzle:

Given that:

1. There are 5 houses in 5 different colors.
2. Each house is owned by a man of a different nationality.
3. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet.
4. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar, or drink the same beverage.

The question is: Who owns the fish?

Clues:

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’s owner 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 the horse lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
12. The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer.
13. The German smokes Prince.
14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
15. The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water.

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2 Responses to Einstein’s Puzzle

  1. Solved this puzzle two years ago. Since then I have seen it in various forms. But a great puzzle all the same!

  2. Filthy McNasty says:

    Note: “4. The green house is on the left of the white house.”
    In some variations on this puzzle the word “immediate” appears before the word “left” in the clue. Obviouslt this would affet the answer.

    The best software for generating/solving this puzzle is
    http://www.kaser.com/sherwin.html

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