Albert Einstein’s riddle that only 2% of people are able to solve

The origins of this conundrum, once featured in the Guardian, along with its many variations that often circulate online, remain somewhat unclear.

Popular lore insists that Einstein, during his , crafted the first version of this puzzle, and it's said that only a mere 2 percent of the population can crack it.

Here's the challenge:

Five individuals reside in houses of various colors, each with a unique pet, enjoying diverse kinds of coffee, and utilizing distinct means of . Your task? Determine the owner of the fish by deciphering the clues provided.

  1. Nicola lives in the tartan house.
  2. Ed has a guinea pig
  3. David mochaccino
  4. The paisley house is on the left of the gingham house
  5. The owner of the paisley house drinks flat whites.
  6. The person who drives by car has a squirrel.
  7. The owner of the striped house travels by bike.
  8. The person living in the centre house drinks double espresso.
  9. Nick lives in the first house.
  10. The person who travels by train lives next to the one who has a pitbull.
  11. The person who has a badger lives next to the person who travels by bike.
  12. The person who travels by drinks chai latte.
  13. Nigel goes everywhere by foot.
  14. Nick lives next to the polka dot house.
  15. The person who travels by train has a neighbor who drinks decaf.

Utilize a 5×5 grid for the solution, filling in each individual square sequentially is the method I propose.

Before you continue reading, pause here if you're eager to attempt unraveling the puzzle on your own first! The sequence of the statements is designed to bewilder you. Immediately, squares C5 and A1 can be completed by observing clues #8 and #9. Examining statement #14, which reveals there is merely one house adjacent to Nick's, enables us to pinpoint and fill in square B3.

In this stage of the puzzle, the complexity increases. Statements #4 and #5 must be used in conjunction, creating a challenge that requires keen attention. Here's where we identify the placement of the paisley house, which must be situated to the left of the gingham house. Only two columns, specifically C and D, allow this placement to be possible. But considering that the individual in the paisley house prefers white flats and the person in column C is known to drink double espressos, we can conclude that paisley must be positioned in D3, with gingham assigned to E3.

The clues narrow down further with only two types of houses remaining: striped and tartan. Following Statement #1, we learn that Nicola resides in the Tartan house. Since Nick has already been located in one of the undetermined houses, this information allows us to fill in three additional squares. The puzzle continues to unfold, each step drawing us closer to the elusive solution.

  • A3: Striped
  • C1: Nicola
  • C3: Tartan

Nick's preferred mode of transportation is revealed in statement #7: he travels by bicycle. Statement #11 further unveils that his neighbor in house B is in possession of a badger.

When it comes to determining the individual who has a penchant for chai lattes, a process of elimination is employed. Nicola is excluded from the possibilities, as she's known for her preference for espressos. Nigel, who prefers to by foot, and Nick, who commutes by bike, are also not viable candidates since the individual in question travels by plane (according to statement #12). David is ruled out as well, as he's a mochaccino drinker (#3). Thus, the only remaining option is Ed.

However, placing Ed within the grid is a more complicated matter. Only houses B, D, and E are unoccupied. Ed cannot reside in house B, for he owns a guinea pig (#1), and house D is likewise not suitable, as he is known to drink chai lattes. Thus, Ed must be placed in house E, allowing for the completion of that particular column.

David's preference for mochaccino (related to clue #3) leads us to conclude that he cannot be living in house D, leaving house B as his only option. Thus, house D is left for Nigel. Because of these deductions and thanks to clues #3 and #13, we can assign mochaccino to B5 and foot to D4.

Looking at the two open transportation squares, B and C, we must consider another clue (#6) regarding the person who drives by car owning a squirrel. Since there's already a badger in B, we can logically fill in B4, C2, and C4.

The only remaining open drink square is A5, and it must be filled with decaf.

Finally, statement #10 offers us insight into Nick's pet choice, a pitbull, since he lives next to David who commutes by train. This leaves Nigel as the owner of the fish, neatly tying together the clues and solving the puzzle.

Did you manage to solve it? Could you work it out without peeking at the answer?

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