# Einstein's riddle

Einstein wrote this riddle last century and said that 98% of the world’s population would not be able to solve it.

Are you a part of that 98%?

* There are 5 houses that are each a different colour.

* There is a person of a different nationality in each house.

* The 5 owners drink a certain drink. They each smoke a certain brand of cigarettes and also have a certain pet. No owner has the same pet, smokes the same brand of cigarettes nor drinks the same drink.

The question is. “Who has the fish?”

CLUES

1. The British man lives in the red house.

2. The Swedish man has a dog for a pet.

3. The Danish man drinks tea.

4. The green house is to the left of the white house.

5. The owner of the green house drinks coffee.

6. The person that smokes Pall Mall has a bird.

7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.

8. The person that lives in the middle house drinks milk.

9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.

10. The person that smokes Blend, lives next to the one that has a cat.

11. The person that has a horse lives next to the one that smokes Dunhill.

12. The one that smokes Bluemaster drinks beer.

13. The German smokes Prince.

14. The Norwegian lives next to a blue house.

15. The person that smokes Blend, has a neighbour that drinks water.

and yes, i am in those 2% who have been able to solve this problem.

it took me about 45-50 minutes to solve it.

if you find out the answer, please do mention the time it took you to solve it.

Curious3141
Homework Helper
I've solved this a few years back, I think in 15 to 20 min.

This was posted several months ago in the General Discussion forum. I took around 30 minutes, but I think I was only 14 back then. I also solved this problem right before bedtime, and I was really tired - so much for Einstein's claim that only 2% of the world's population will be able to solve this.

I found the link. [URL [Broken] it is.

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Curious3141
Homework Helper
recon said:
so much for Einstein's claim that only 2% of the world's population will be able to solve this.

Don't forget the Flynn effect. We're just a lot smarter than Einstein's generation ! :rofl:

Galileo
Homework Helper
Took me about.. I don't know... 40 minutes or so. Didn't exactly time it.
Im more interested in the way all you solved it.
I basically drew a schematic and noted all the possible pets, nationalities and so in each house, then eliminated possibilities according to the clues till I got the answer.

It was pretty straightforward, but in one point I could not deduce a step directly from the clues. I had to make an assumption before I continued. After that I got to the answer straight away, so the assumption was apparantly correct. (unless there is more than 1 solution, but I think not).

So, did any of you had to do this as well? Or could you do without?

Curious3141
Homework Helper
Galileo said:
Took me about.. I don't know... 40 minutes or so. Didn't exactly time it.
Im more interested in the way all you solved it.
I basically drew a schematic and noted all the possible pets, nationalities and so in each house, then eliminated possibilities according to the clues till I got the answer.

It was pretty straightforward, but in one point I could not deduce a step directly from the clues. I had to make an assumption before I continued. After that I got to the answer straight away, so the assumption was apparantly correct. (unless there is more than 1 solution, but I think not).

So, did any of you had to do this as well? Or could you do without?

I did it entirely in my head. :tongue:

Just messin' with you... I wonder what sort of IQ it would take to do this entirely in one's head ? I'm guessing upwards of 180 deviation IQ ?

Galileo
Homework Helper
Curious3141 said:
Don't forget the Flynn effect. We're just a lot smarter than Einstein's generation ! :rofl:

I did a small search on the Flynn effect. Here's what I found:

The results of intelligence tests in different countries show that over the past century average IQ has been increasing at a rate of about 3 points per decade.

This confuses me. The average IQ is DEFINED to be 100.
Even if people are getting smarter, the average IQ will always be 100.
It's a relative measure. (Intelligence Quotient).

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I find it extremely unlikely that Einstein would waste his time devising silly puzzles like this one.

Curious3141
Homework Helper
Galileo said:
I did a small search on the Flynn effect. Here's what I found:

This confuses me. The average IQ is DEFINED to be 100.
Even if people are getting smarter, the average IQ will always be 100.
It's a relative measure. (Intelligence Quotient).

There are too many variables here for there to be a clear cut answer.

IQ tests are renormed but not as often as they should be. So a test devised in the 50s and not normed since then will read "high" if an average 21st Century individual is tested. The median value of the test scores would have apparently drifted upwards.

When a new test is devised, it has to be normed on a current representative population. This means that compared to the older tests, newer tests would tend to read lower but "truer".

Further complicating the situation is the observation that IQ tests devised 50 years ago test quite different things from the standardised tests of today. Now you have concepts like fluid vs crystallised intelligence, general intelligence, $g$, and "culture-fairness". Modern tests de-emphasise verbal skills and test logical thought and a fair bit of visuospatial skills.

Interestingly, verbal abilities have, on the whole, fallen compared to the older generation. Tests of verbal "IQ" may show a deficit in modern populations compared to the older ones. However, there seems to have been a compensatory increase in "real" intelligence, related to problem-solving ability. What's even more interesting is that the Flynn effect seems to be more pronounced for highly $g$-loaded tests that are supposed to be a better measure of true cognition. Hence many people believe the Flynn effect to be real, and due to factors like better in-utero and early childhood nutrition, more stimulating environments, etc. Perhaps even video games play a role.

Hmm I figured out one way that it works out... in my head... but thats only if green is right beside white... which it ends being I think anyways I dunno... it worked for me doing this in your head isn't any harder than doing it on paper IMO...

It took me 10 minutes roughly

Alkatran
Homework Helper
I did this in grade 11 with two friends while we didn't listen in french class. Does that count?

Curious- it is entirely solve able
I worked on it for about 10 min, then me and my friend worked on it for about 10 more min. and got it.

P.S. You can't expect only 2% of this group to be able to solve it. Remeber, this is a group of people who are interested in physics. And tend to have a higher IQ then the avg person. They also tend to be people who are good problem solvers. (Since most of experimental physics is just that)

Curious3141
Homework Helper
Cosmo16 said:
Curious- it is entirely solve able
I worked on it for about 10 min, then me and my friend worked on it for about 10 more min. and got it.

P.S. You can't expect only 2% of this group to be able to solve it. Remeber, this is a group of people who are interested in physics. And tend to have a higher IQ then the avg person. They also tend to be people who are good problem solvers. (Since most of experimental physics is just that)

I know. I never said only 2 % of this board's population would be able to solve it, I'd say more than half our members would probably be able to do it with ease; in fact, I suspect the proportion of people in the general population that would be able to solve this given an hour would be at least 5 %.

The Flynn effect is real though, and there I was making a serious point.

I think the 98% was just added as a motive . I still haven't met somebody who cannot solve this.

Galileo
Homework Helper
I think 2% is exaggerated.
Still, about only 2% of the world population has a college education.

(I`m not implying college education is needed to solve this problem)

It took me about one minute to figure it out. *spoiler* I thought, Einstein is German so he probably has the fish, and that is what I got. I also had to make an assumption. An assumption that Noweigen = yellow, or that white is directly next to white. I never completely filled out the whole thing though, once I saw that German was not in spot 1 or 3 I realized it was not a cat, so I stopped there because German had to have the fish.

I too do not think this is something Einstein really wrote, said, whatever. I think the 98% is bogus, but it is probably correct. Because only losers like us would waste our time working something like this out lol.

Healey01 said:
Where does one go about taking a true IQ test?

yeah, i would also like to know that. i have never given an IQ test.

is there some website where i can give an IQ test.

Averagesupernova
Gold Member
It's easy to solve. Just think about it backwards. Mark down what you know the houses/owners/etc. do NOT have. Pretty soon with process of elimination you will have it. I did it in about 20 minutes and half of that time was spent on figuring out how to not solve it.

Icebreaker
I just finished doing it. It took me about 10 minutes. I'd say it's a pretty good puzzle, and there was no assumption or random placing needed. Every step has a logical follow-up. I wrote everything in a table form down onto a piece of paper, and started with "The Norwegian lives in the first house..." and worked from there.

Why would scientist of this calliber invent some silly quizees is beyond me.Was he vain and tried to make his name more famous.?
I never liked that guy, theory of SR on the other hand is intriguing.

I did this teaser a month or two back and it took me about 43 minutes because I had to do it twice.