Here’s the solution to last Friday’s puzzle. 🙂

As you remember, 5 students live in 5 houses on the same street. Each house is a different color. Each student plays a different sport, has a different favorite class, and keeps a different sort of pet. No two are the same.

Let’s begin by setting up a diagram to keep track of the clues. “N” will stand for the name of the student in each house, “P” for their pet, “S” for the sport they play, and “C” for their favorite class.

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Now let’s fill in what we know for sure. Clue #8 tells us that the student in the middle house plays soccer, and Clue #9 tells us that Nathan lives in the first house on the street. We can fill those in directly.

Two down, thirteen to go! 🙂

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Now that we know where Nathan lives and who likes to play soccer, we look for other clues about Nathan and/or soccer. Clue #14 tells us that Nathan lives next door to the blue house, and there is only one house next door to Nathan’s, so the second house must be the blue one.

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Let’s see if we can figure out the color of any of the other houses. Clue #4 tells us that the green house is to the left of the white house, so they must be next to each other. That means that the green and white house are either the third and fourth or the fourth and fifth, since those are the only two options for them to be together. We could pencil that in…BUT then we notice that Clue #5 tells us that the student in the green house plays baseball. The third house can’t be green, because we already know that the student in the third house plays soccer. Therefore the fourth house must be green and the fifth house white, AND the student in the green house (according to Clue #5) plays baseball. That leaves only two colors in question, and Clue #1 tells us that Brittney lives in a red house. So…Brittney can’t live in the second house because it’s blue, and the first house can’t be red because Nathan lives there. That means the third house must be the red one where Brittney lives. And THAT means the yellow house has to be the first one where, according to Clue #7, Nathan likes to study Literature. So here’s what we know now:

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Now the challenge gets tricky! We scan the clues to see if Nathan, Brittney, soccer, baseball, or literature show up in any of the others. Clue #11 tells us that the student who has a hamster lives next door to the one who likes literature. There’s only one house next door to the one where Nathan loves literature, so a hamster must be the pet in the second house.

Clue #12 tells us that the student who likes choir also plays golf, so that student must live in the second or fifth house since Nathan in House #1 likes literature and whoever lives in the third and fourth houses play other sports. We also see in Clue #3 that Dan plays basketball, so he, too, must live in the second or fifth house. Hmmm…if the golfer and the basketball player live in the second and fifth houses, that leaves football as the only possibility for Nathan, and Clue #15 tells me that the student who likes math is the neighbor of the student who plays football (Nathan), so our math lover lives in the second house. That means the student who likes choir–the one who also plays golf (Clue #12)–CAN’T live in the second house, so that student must live in House #5. That means Dan, the basketball player, must live in the second house with his hamster. Filling all that in, here’s what we know:

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Clue #13 tells us that Geoff likes History, and the fourth house is the only one that still has both a name and a favorite class unknown, so we can put Geoff in the green house with his history books. According to Clue #6, that means Brittney must be the student who loves science AND she must be the one who raises parakeets. Now we know the names of every student except the one in the white house. According to Clue #2, Skye must live there with her dog. Only one clue left! Clue #10 tells us that the student who likes math (our good buddy Dan in Blue house #2) lives next door to the student who has a cat. That can’t be Brittney. She raises parakeets. So it must be Nathan who has the cat.

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So now you know who has the goldfish! 🙂

For bonus points,is it possible that Albert Einstein solved a challenge like this when he was a boy? Unlikely, since Einstein was born in Germany in 1879 and basketball wasn’t invented until 1891 halfway around the world in Springfield, Massachusetts.

For extra bonus points, try creating an Einstein challenge of your own!