# Einstein's Intelligence Quiz ?

jimmysnyder said:
Perhaps you missed my post #30 in this thread.
Not at all. But I was referring more to post #36. Let's look at them both, then.

Post #30:

jimmysnyder said:
Actually, I expect the 98% thing is true. No one in this thread got the right answer. A second thread with the same puzzle appeared in Physics Forums about a year or so ago with the correct answer which I repeat below:

No one has a fish. The only time a fish is mentioned is in the question. That is the 'Einstein' angle. Einstein's special theory requires you to abandon the unjustifiable assumption of absolute space and time, just as this puzzle requires you to abandon the unjustifiable assumption that one of the pets is a fish.

You are correct that as a straightforward logic puzzle, this one is not particularly difficult. That, together with the "98% thing" is in itself a clue.
This post references almost no logic whatsoever with regard to the puzzle at hand. It instead references the "Einstein angle" which is a "hint" at a possible interpretation of the style of the method of obtaining a solution. It says nothing about the solution itself and how to obtain said solution uniquely and verifiably using such a hint.

It does reference logic insofar as it addresses the fact that "The only time a fish is mentioned is in the question." Which does point out the flaw in the wording of the problem, hence pointing at the ambiguity.

But your post #36 is by far a better attempt to explain your position logically. As I've pointed out, it's not entirely based in logic, it's partially based in experience which is unverifiable, and hence cannot be accepted as a solution. But for reference's sake, post #36:

jimmysnyder said:
That's not so. If it were, then the problem would indeed be unsolvable. Therefore, there is no fish.
To sum up of the three possibilies:
1) Could be a fish or could be no fish: Wrong, ambiguous, violating the solvability clue
2) Is a fish: Wrong, too easy, violating the 98% clue.
3) Is no fish: Right, satisfies all clues.
Now, you've analyzed the possibilities totally correctly:
1) A fish may or may not exist, if it exists, the German owns it
2) The German owns the fish
3) There is no fish

And, you've already stated that you are unwilling to accept the ambiguity of #1 as a solution, which is totally within your rights, although my personal and also unverifiable feeling on that would be to allow it.

And you're correct by allowing #3, as it does not explicitly violate any clues explained in the puzzle.

But the sticky bit is that you're claiming that #2 is not a valid solution, but you don't give a verifiable, logical explanation as to why. You claim "too easy", which is an arbitrary judgement call on your part, based on your experience with people's abilities to solve these sorts of problems.

Daveb's solution was a valid interpretation, if, as both you and he agree, you don't want to allow any ambiguity in the solution. But there's really only one way to approach the problem after that assumption is made. Either #2 or #3 is correct, but not both, and there can be no ambiguity.

But to make such a conclusion, we have to look at the question. "Who owns the fish?" Now, if the question were instead "Who owns a fish?", the "a" is a nondescript object, allowing the potential for no fish to actually exist. But by specifying "THE fish", there's a definite article, which, if you're a lawyer, you would probably agree implies (if not explicitly defines) the existance of a fish. Hence, the fish MUST exist, and it must be owned by the German.

DaveE

Also, the 98% is not under the clues to the puzzle, it is contained outside the puzzle. For that matter, so is the claim that is solvable, as is the mention of the fish. Taking the 15 clues by themselves, the puzzle is not solvable. If you assume that the solvability part is a clue, you also have to assume the other two are also clues. This means there is a fish, and only 2% of people get it right. Each of these two is in contradiction to the other. You cannot assign weight to one more than the other.

based on this, I would have to say the puzzle is NOT solvable, since you can only take the 15 clues.

Umm.

Mickey said:
In the quiz, there are only five animals, as given by the rules. If the quiz asks for fish, when four other animals are known, fish is the fifth animal, because the quiz only knows five animals. The quiz cannot ask for a sixth or a seventh.
Yeah, I don't know if they're listening to you.

daveb said:
Also, the 98% is not under the clues to the puzzle, it is contained outside the puzzle. For that matter, so is the claim that is solvable, as is the mention of the fish.
If you take the puzzle to be no more than the 15 clues, then there is no answer as there is no question.

Mickey said:
In the quiz, there are only five animals, as given by the rules.
The idea that the unnamed pet need not be a fish is the crux of the puzzle. It is the reason most people get it wrong. If that were not the case, then most people would get it right as we see before our eyes. The 98% clamor to be the 2%. Go ahead, pat yourself on the back.

Last edited:
hey i did it in 30 mins....whoohoooo
i seen this this puzzle before, but i've never tackled it because i was scared i wouldn't be able to do it, and ultimately realise how stupid i am. wow i feel good.

I made a table....for nat, pet, sm, dr, house no., colour

and also below that drew out the houses(boxes) next to each other.

jimmysnyder said:
Go ahead, pat yourself on the back.
Do I even have to comment on how rude that was? And are you still intent on illogically believing that the answer is definitively "there is no fish"? I responded point-for-point on your posts showing why your conclusion is inaccurate. Are you even reading my posts beyond the fact that I disagree with you?

DaveE

davee123 said:
Are you even reading my posts beyond the fact that I disagree with you?
Yes.

Since there is no clue telling you that anyone has a fish, the best I could do for you is: "There is not enough information to know if anyone owns a fish or not." However, since this answer violates one of the clues, I cannot accept it as the answer myself.

The 98% thing and the Einstein thing are just extra clues. The puzzle and its solution stand without them.

o i understand what u mean, Because its not stated that one of these five own a fish? just says who owns a fish. and we're assuming theres someone within the five owns the fish.?
no i don't get it.

Last edited:
jimmysnyder said:
Yes.

Since there is no clue telling you that anyone has a fish, the best I could do for you is: "There is not enough information to know if anyone owns a fish or not." However, since this answer violates one of the clues, I cannot accept it as the answer myself.

The 98% thing and the Einstein thing are just extra clues. The puzzle and its solution stand without them.
So... now you're saying that the puzzle has no solution? (Which I would agree is a correct possible interpretation)

DaveE

davee123 said:
So... now you're saying that the puzzle has no solution?
This is the second time you have put words in my mouth. That is rude too. The puzzle has a solution. Are you reading my posts? The solution is No one has a fish. It fits all of the clues. No other solution has been proposed that does so.

jimmysnyder said:
This is the second time you have put words in my mouth. That is rude too.
Well, sorry, it's just that you aren't addressing my points, or answering my questions, so I have to make assumptions.

jimmysnyder said:
The puzzle has a solution. Are you reading my posts? The solution is No one has a fish. It fits all of the clues. No other solution has been proposed that does so.

1) The solution can't be ambiguous

Fine.

2) "No one has a fish" does not violate any clues.

Fine, I accept that. It's certainly possible depending on your interpretation of the English language and the definite article "the" which is explicitly stated in the question.

But what you have NOT answered (in any logical way) is why you seem to think that "The German owns the fish" violates the clues. It's extraordinarily clear that such a statement does NOT violate ANY of the clues given, regardless of your interpretation (unless you play devil's advocate and claim a wildly stupid interpretation of various words within the clues, such as "fish" is a type of beverage, or "Brit" is someone who raises horses).

Why do you hold that "The German owns the fish" is an unacceptable answer?

Note that responses such as "because that would be too easy" or "that's too obvious of an answer" or "because it's not thinking outside the box" are not quantifiable and are therefore dismissable.

The valid answers to this problem ARE, quite definitively one of:
A) The German owns the fish
B) If any one of the 5 people does own the fish, it is the German
C) There is no solution

The solution "there is no fish" is NOT a possible *solution*, it is only a *part* of a solution, viable within answers B) or C).

DaveE

davee123 said:
Why do you hold that "The German owns the fish" is an unacceptable answer?
Because it assumes a clue that isn't stated in the puzzle.

jimmysnyder said:
Because it assumes a clue that isn't stated in the puzzle.
But stating that "there is no fish" makes an EQUAL assumption! If you can't assume that there IS a fish, you CANNOT assume that there definitely is NO fish.

DaveE

jimmysnyder said:
Because it assumes a clue that isn't stated in the puzzle.
No, it doesn't. The puzzle stated there are five animals only.

The only way you can justify your position is if the quiz knows of a six animal that the german could have that is not a fish, but there are not six animals.

So, you are assuming a clue that isn't stated in the puzzle! :tongue2:

This is a problem people have when taking quizzes: they apply the quiz to the real world. In the real world, there are many animals, but in the quiz world, there are only five.

davee123 said:
But stating that "there is no fish" makes an EQUAL assumption! If you can't assume that there IS a fish, you CANNOT assume that there definitely is NO fish.
This line of reasoning violates one of the clues which says the puzzle is solvable.

My take:

-The puzzle is stated as being solvable
-The puzzle is defined by 'Who owns the fish?'
-Therefore there is an answer to this question within the boundaries of the puzzle

this is a statement and question all in one in my opinion (defines the fifth animal and states the question)

personally, I think too much is being read into it, fish is the fifth animal, it's that simple, and IMO not really ambiguous either given the above

Martin

oh yes, and added to that, it says who owns 'the' fish, not 'a' fish (somebody mentioned that already)

jimmysnyder said:
This line of reasoning violates one of the clues which says the puzzle is solvable.
If that's your interpretation, fine, but *IF* that's the case, then your only logical recourse is to accept that the puzzle paradoxical and that there is NO solution. Remember early on when you said that liking an answer doesn't necessarily make it the right one? Ding ding!

The puzzle at hand does not give you ANY means of verifying absolutely whether or not a fish exists. It *implies* a fish, which, if you're a lawyer, you could make a case was the correct interpretation. You could *NOT*, however, make a valid case that a fish does *NOT* exist. It's an arguable point as to whether it's ambiguous, or there definitely IS a fish. There is no arguable case that there is unambiguously NO fish.

If you want to claim that there is no fish, you have to explicitly show HOW you arrived at that conclusion. Right now, you've shown that the existance of a fish is ambiguous, and you adamantly believe that there is a solution. Hence, you in particular are left with 2 options:

1) The German has the fish.
2) There is no fish.

In order to choose one of these options, you MUST show how one of the two cases is inaccurate in order to prove the other correct.

You can make a case for 1) because the author specified the word "the" before fish, establishing in a pretty clear concept that he's talking about a particular fish (actually a particular set of fish because the problem is written in the plural). It can therefore be said that because the author is referencing something discrete within the scope of the problem, that such a subject exists definitely.

But you seem to want a case for 2). In order to do that, you've got to show why 1) is explicitly wrong, which you haven't yet done.

DaveE

davee123 said:
there is NO solution. Remember early on when you said that liking an answer doesn't necessarily make it the right one? Ding ding!
Are you saying that the puzzle has a solution and the solution is "The puzzle does not have a solution.". I reject this.

davee123 said:
you've got to show why 1) is explicitly wrong, which you haven't yet done.
1) is explicitly wrong because if the German could own a fish, yet it is also the case that the German might not own a fish. Then the puzzle would indeed be unsolvable. The puzzle is not unsolvable. Therefore, reductio ad absurdum, the German does not own a fish.

jimmysnyder said:
Are you saying that the puzzle has a solution and the solution is "The puzzle does not have a solution.". I reject this.
So, you HAVEN'T been reading. See my prior post:

davee123 said:
The valid answers to this problem ARE, quite definitively one of:
A) The German owns the fish
B) If any one of the 5 people does own the fish, it is the German
C) There is no solution
jimmysnyder said:
1) is explicitly wrong because if the German could own a fish, yet it is also the case that the German might not own a fish. Then the puzzle would indeed be unsolvable. The puzzle is not unsolvable. Therefore, reductio ad absurdum, the German does not own a fish.
Ok, I'm gonna stop after this because you're just not listening. Seriously, if I don't post again, it means go back and re-read my posts, because I already addressed this.

Maybe the order is confusing you. I'll state this two different ways, according to what appears to be your logic, and get two different conclusions. Observe the difference:

--------------------------------------

There are two possibilities:

A) The German owns the fish
B) There is no fish

If A) were the answer, we would need to assume that a fish definitely exists. However, we cannot make that determination. Hence, because the solution MUST exist as defined by the problem, A) is incorrect. Therefore, the only option left is B).

-----------------------------------------

Now, I'll use the SAME EXACT LOGIC, but in the reverse order:

------------------------------------------

There are two possibilities:

A) There is no fish
B) The German owns the fish

If A) were the answer, we would need to assume that no fish exists. However, we cannot make that determination. Hence, because the solution MUST exist as defined by the problem, A) is incorrect. Therefore, the only option left is B).

Answer: The German owns the fish

--------------------------------------------

As I've said before, the valid answers to this problem ARE:

a) The German owns the fish
b) If any one of the 5 people does own the fish, it is the German
c) There is no solution

a) is correct if you assume that the word "the" is a statement officially declaring the fish's existance.

b) is correct if you define "solution" as allowing a certain degree of ambiguity.

c) is correct if you assume the word "the" does NOT establish the fish's existance, and you define "solution" as being totally unambiguous.

DaveE

your posts make me smile :)

Einstein sent this very puzzle to Schrodinger and said, "98% of people I know couldn't work this out" Since Schrodinger new that Einstein mixed in very intellectual circles he was keen to prove that he was amongst the 2% of people that could get this conundrum, so he worked for a while and got the answer, that the German owned the fish, he was about to retrieve his fountain pen from the draw when he realised that it was too easy....? Hold on he though if I can get this in 10 minutes what's to stop Niels Bohr or Max Plank from getting it this easilly? 98% mmmmm...

Damn it there must be more to it, after thinking on it for a while he came up with a brilliant solution, the solution wasn't that there was a solution, the solution was that the question was unanswerable! Since the fish was never definitively identified as existing but only infered Einstien was trying to force people into speculating about something intrinsicaly intangible in the structure of the question; it was obvious,there was no fish, the fish was a red herring! what Einstein was leading people to do was to solve the puzzle, but in doing so they made themselves the 98% who couldn't solve it, the sly old dog.

Pleased with his lateral answer he sent Einstein a letter saying, tough luck again old bean I have the answer, your trying to fool me into making assumptions about the answer without resorting to proof, there is nothing tangible that leads me to believe in the existence of a fish? You can't assert the German owns the fish unless the fish actually exists. Unless I can see a fish there is no fish it's suposition, untill you can definitively show me the nature of a cod or a herring within the problem then it is no fish you seek but something unknowable. You can stop sending me these questions without answers these, riddles without proofs.

Einstein wrote back saying ahhhh! You have it: now this Copenhagen interpritation....

In all seriousness though I seriously doubt Einstein wrote this riddle, unless there was an ulterior motive, perhaps?

Last edited:
Schrodinger's Dog said:
Einstein sent this very puzzle to Schrodinger and said, "98% of people I know couldn't work this out" Since Schrodinger new that Einstein mixed in very intellectual circles he was keen to prove that he was amongst the 2% of people that could get this conundrum, so he worked for a while and got the answer, that the German owned the fish, he was about to retrieve his fountain pen from the draw when he realised that it was too easy....? Hold on he though if I can get this in 10 minutes what's to stop Niels Bohr or Max Plank from getting it this easilly? 98% mmmmm...

Damn it there must be more to it, after thinking on it for a while he came up with a brilliant solution, the solution wasn't that there was a solution, the solution was that the question was unanswerable! Since the fish was never definitively identified as existing but only infered Einstien was trying to force people into speculating about something intrinsicaly intangible in the structure of the question; it was obvious,there was no fish, the fish was a red herring! what Einstein was leading people to do was to solve the puzzle, but in doing so they made themselves the 98% who couldn't solve it, the sly old dog.

Pleased with his lateral answer he sent Einstein a letter saying, tough luck again old bean I have the answer, your trying to fool me into making assumptions about the answer without resorting to proof, there is nothing tangible that leads me to believe in the existence of a fish? You can't assert the German owns the fish unless the fish actually exists. Unless I can see a fish there is no fish it's suposition, untill you can definitively show me the nature of a cod or a herring within the problem then it is no fish you seek but something unknowable. You can stop sending me these questions without answers these, riddles without proofs.

Einstein wrote back saying ahhhh! You have it: now this Copenhagen interpritation....

In all seriousness though I seriously doubt Einstein wrote this riddle, unless there was an ulterior motive, perhaps?