Sunday, September 26, 2010

Who Owns the Zebra?

Several years ago we received twelve inches of snow and a freezing rain on top of that. A friend had given me a puzzle called, Who Owns the Zebra. I spent the entire afternoon trying to solve the puzzle and finally did after using up most of a notepad. While this blog is usually devoted to subjects that touch on the writing process, it is good to occasionally spend a little time doing nothing, or next to nothing. You aren't suppose to cheat by looking up the answer on the Internet. I'll give you a few days to work on this before I post the answer.

Who owns the Zebra?

The following puzzle is a fine example of what is called a
“detective puzzle:” Based on clues supplied in a narrative, one is to answer a question by applying simple, man-on-the-street logic to the information (not all of it relevant) supplied.
On an odd little street in the town of “Somewhere”, there are five house in a row. Each house is a different color, each is inhabited by a woman of different nationality, and the owner of the houses also have their differences: each owner has a different pet, prefers a different drink and works in a different profession. A detective, charged with the task of discovering who drinks water and who owns the Zebra, gathered the following information, itemized for your convenience:

1. The Englishwoman lives in the red house.
2. The Spaniard owns a dog.
3. Coffee is drunk in the green house
4. The Ukrainian drinks tea.
5. The green house is immediately to the right of the Ivory house.
6. The engineer owns the snail.
7. The diplomat lives in the yellow house.
8. Milk is drunk in the middle house.
9. The Norwegian lives in the first house on the left.
10. The doctor lives next to the owner of the fox.
11. The diplomat lives next to the owner of the horse.
12. The teacher drinks orange juice.
13. The carpenter is Japanese.
14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.

Who owns the Zebra?

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