# Einstein Riddle | Solution

16.07.2018

The answer: The German owns fish.

How did we arrive at this?

You can work this all out by making a table. In the top row, list all the houses, 1-5 (where the numbers relate to position—i.e., 1 is to the left of 2, 3 is to the right of 2, etc.).

Then in each column, list the main attributes:

• nationality

• color of house

• cigar smoked by owner

• type of drink owner prefers

• type of pet owner keeps

Then fill in what you know. Let’s start with the houses.

There are a few details we know right away:

• The owner of the middle house (#3) drinks milk.

• The Norwegian lives in the first house.

• The Norwegian lives next door to the blue house, which means house #2 is blue, since the Norwegian is on the far left.

 House 1 House 2 House 3 House 4 House 5 Norwegian blue milk

Now, with these in place, we can think more about what we know about position. There is one peculiar detail. Did you spot it? Here it is: The green house is on the immediate left of the white house.

This is important: The owner of the green house drinks coffee, so the green house can’t be the middle house (since its owner drinks milk). And further, since the blue house is the second house, the green and white can’t be the first or second (since green is immediately left of white), so they must be the fourth and fifth, respectively.

 House 1 House 2 House 3 House 4 House 5 Norwegian blue green white milk

Knowing this, a few more pieces fall into place:

• The owner of the green house drinks coffee (house 4).

• The Brit lives in the red house, which means the remaining color (yellow), must be the Norwegian’s house. This also means the Brit lives in the third (red) house.

 House 1 House 2 House 3 House 4 House 5 Norwegian Brit yellow blue red green white milk coffee

The second detail makes another piece fall into place:

• The owner of the yellow house (Norwegian, #1) smokes Dunhill.

 House 1 House 2 House 3 House 4 House 5 Norwegian Brit yellow blue red green white Dunhill milk coffee

Now, we know the man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill, so since the Norwegian smokes Dunhill, that means house #2’s owner must keep horses.

 House 1 House 2 House 3 House 4 House 5 Norwegian Brit yellow blue red green white Dunhill horses milk coffee

It might look like we’ve hit a wall here. In a way, we have, because this is where the puzzle gets tricky (and why it’s nicknamed “Einstein’s Riddle”).

To move forward, we will put all the remaining possibilities in the empty boxes.

 House 1 House 2 House 3 House 4 House 5 Norwegian German, Dane, Swede Brit German, Dane, Swede German, Dane, Swede yellow blue red green white Dunhill Pall Mall, Blend, Blue Master, Prince Pall Mall, Blend, Blue Master, Prince Pall Mall, Blend, Blue Master, Prince Pall Mall, Blend, Blue Master, Prince dogs, cats, birds, fish horses dogs, cats, birds, fish dogs, cats, birds, fish dogs, cats, birds, fish water, tea, chocolate water, tea, chocolate milk coffee water, tea, chocolate

At this point, we can eliminate some of the possibilities based on what we know:

• The man who smokes Blue Master drinks chocolate (so the Norwegian can’t drink chocolate because he smokes Dunhill).

• The Dane drinks tea (so the Norwegian can’t drink tea either, which means the only possibility is that he drinks water).

 House 1 House 2 House 3 House 4 House 5 Norwegian German, Dane, Swede Brit German, Dane, Swede German, Dane, Swede yellow blue red green white Dunhill Pall Mall, Blend, Blue Master, Prince Pall Mall, Blend, Blue Master, Prince Pall Mall, Blend, Blue Master, Prince Pall Mall, Blend, Blue Master, Prince dogs, cats, birds, fish horses dogs, cats, birds, fish dogs, cats, birds, fish dogs, cats, birds, fish water tea, chocolate milk coffee tea, chocolate

Next, we can eliminate some more:

• The Dane drinks tea (so he can’t be in house #4).

• The Swede keeps dogs as pets (so house #1, the Norwegian, can’t keep dogs, nor house #3, and house #2 can’t be the Swede, since its owner keeps horses).

• The man who smokes Blend has a neighbor who drinks water (and since we know now the Norwegian drinks water, this means house #2, the only neighbor, must smoke Blend).

 House 1 House 2 House 3 House 4 House 5 Norwegian German, Dane Brit German, Swede German, Dane, Swede yellow blue red green white Dunhill Blend Pall Mall, Blue Master, Prince Pall Mall, Blue Master, Prince Pall Mall, Blue Master, Prince cats, birds, fish horses cats, birds, fish dogs, cats, birds, fish dogs, cats, birds, fish water tea, chocolate milk coffee tea, chocolate

Now, knowing that house #2’s owner smokes Blend opens another door:

• The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks chocolate (so this can’t be house #2 and can only be house #5, which also means that house #5’s owner smokes Blue Master).

• The German smokes Prince, so that means #2’s owner must be the Dane.

 House 1 House 2 House 3 House 4 House 5 Norwegian Dane Brit German, Swede German, Swede yellow blue red green white Dunhill Blend Pall Mall, Prince Pall Mall, Prince Blue Master cats, birds, fish horses cats, birds, fish Dogs, birds, fish Dogs, birds, fish Water tea milk coffee chocolate

We’re almost there!

• The German smokes Prince, which leaves only house #4 for him (and means house #5 has to be the Swede, which also means the Brit smokes Pall Mall).

• The owner who smokes Pall Mall (as we now know, the Brit) keeps birds.

• The owner who smokes Blend lives next door to the one who keeps cats (so this must be the Norwegian, #1, since we just found out the other neighbor, #3, keeps birds).

 House 1 House 2 House 3 House 4 House 5 Norwegian Dane Brit German Swede yellow blue red green white Dunhill Blend Pall Mall Prince Blue Master cats horses birds Dogs, fish Dogs, fish Water tea milk coffee chocolate

And the linchpin:

• The Swede keeps dogs as pets, which means … the German keeps fish!

And there you have it. Pure logic leads the way. If you worked this all out on your own, pat yourself on the back. You’re doing great!

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