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Hardest puzzle ever

  1. Jun 29, 2003 #1
    "hardest puzzle ever"

    today i ran across this puzzle:

    ON a train Smith, Jones, and Robinson are the fireman, brakeman, and engineer, but NOT respectivly. Also aboard are three business men who have the same names: a Mr. Smith, a Mr. Jones, and a Mr. Robinson.
    here are the clues:
    1) Mr. Robinson lives in Detroit.
    2) The brakeman lives exactly half between Detroit and Chicago.
    3) Mr. Jones earns exactly $20,000 per year.
    4) The brakeman's nearest neighbor,one of the passengers, earns exactly three times as much as the brakeman.
    5) Smith beats the fireman at billiards.
    6) The passanger with the same name as the brakeman lives in Chicago.


    you can PM the answer to me, if you get it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 29, 2003 #2


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    Bah, wasn't so hard!
  4. Jun 30, 2003 #3
    its a damn good puzzle, about 2.5% of people who do it get it right.

    the only problem is they leave you with a single assumpion you have to make - which ruins the whole puzzle as you have to work with information outside the clues.
    It still makes it a puzzle tho - just not as good one as you are working with guesses - not pure problem solving.

    me: i had to ask for the answer :p - then i saw how i got ripped. If they added a sinle bit of info that eliminated the assumpion allot more people would come up with the answer.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2003
  5. Jun 30, 2003 #4


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    I didn't see any assumptions (though I will admit it is very tricky!); when I did it, every deduction I used was perfectly rigorous. PM me if you wanna see them.
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