the basement > Logic Puzzles

The Five Dimensional Puzzle

(1/2) > >>

The third time's a charm!  This puzzle will be quite a bit harder than the previous two, but by no means is it impossible!

As always, please do NOT post ideas/solutions/etc. in this thread for the courtesy of other puzzle solvers.  Instead, feel free to post such things in the corresponding spoiler thread.

This is a *very* long read.  Having said that, the critical information from the following puzzle has been color coded for your information parsing pleasure, so sit back, relax those metaphorical brain muscles, and enjoy the puzzle!


John and Jane run a customized pet tag store.  One day, a pet owner comes in to the store, and John takes her order for customized name tags for herself and five of her friends.  Later on that day, Jane talks to John about this order.

"So, I understand that you had a nice meeting with our new client?"

"Yeah, she was a pet owner named Ensign, and she brought her Dog that she's named Felsite.  According to her, the word felsite is the name for a type of rock, so the joke is that..."

"...she has a pet rock.  Yeah, I got it.  What about the details for the order?"

John's face went white.  "...Order... details?..."

"Yeah, you know, the things we need to know in order to make the customized tags..."  Jane looked John straight in his eyes.  "You did get them, right?"

"Uhh...  Would you kill me if I said 'Not exactly.'?"

By now, Jane was glaring at John.  "Depends on what you mean by 'Not exactly.'..."

"She did tell me the information that's supposed to go on the tags.  The six people who are getting name tags for their pets, including the one making the order, are Alice, Bob, Carson, Dude, Ensign, and Forrest, and each of the six tags is supposed to have the owner's name, the pet's name, and the pet's species.  In addition, each tag needs to be a specific shape and a specific color."

"Wait, why does the pet species need to be on the tag?"

"Well, here's the thing.  Each of the owners owns exactly one pet, and each pet is of a different species.  Including Felsite, the six species are Aardvark, Bat, Cat, Dog, Echnida, and Frog.  The owner of the echnida wanted the species name on their pet's tag to prevent everybody from asking about what species it was, and since one of the pets was getting its species on its tag, the other pet owners decided that they wanted their pets' species on their name tags, too."

"Okay, but did you get the pets' names?  That's a little important."

"Yeah, the six pet names are Ace, Buddy, Cool, Doug, Elite, and of course, Felsite.  Each of the six of them is supposed to get a name tag that is either Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, or Purple, but no two pets have the same color of tag.  Similarly, each of the six tags needs to be in the shape of either a Triangle, Square, Ellipse, Bone, Rectangle, or Hexagon.  Again, no two tags have the same shape."

"Very good.  Now, do you remember who owned each pet?  More importantly, do you remember which pet's tag gets each of these traits?"

"I... don't think so..."

"You spent five hours talking with Ensign and didn't get this info from her?!?"

"I'm sorry!  She was chatty, and after a while, I started to lose focus.  I don't even remember if I asked her for the info, much less what the info is..."

The look on Jane's face was clearly that of frustration.  After a few moments, she spoke again.  "Well, then, what do you remember from your five hour chat?"

"Well, there are a few... quirks... that Ensign and her niche of friends share.  For one thing, they all greatly dislike any trait related to their pet, including their own names, to have the same first letter as any other trait related to the same pet.  For example, Bob wouldn't even consider naming his pet Buddy, as the two of them would then have names that start with the letter B.  Also, nobody would ever consider having a name tag for their pet that was both Red and shaped like a Rectangle for the same reason."

"That *is* strange..."

"The six pet owners also have a similar distaste for any trait related to their pet, including their own names, to have the same number of letters as any other trait related to that pet.  For instance, Forrest wouldn't be caught dead owning an Echnida, and any of the pet owners would cringe if their pet had a tag that was both Orange and shaped like a Square."

"That's also nice to know, but that's not nearly helpful enough.  What else do you remember?"

"Ensign did mention a few more helpful tidbits of information during our chat.  For one thing, Alice loves the color Yellow, and therefore insisted that her pet's tag be that color.  Ensign also noted that the Purple tag was going to go well with the spots on the back of somebody's pet Frog.  In addition, I remember her talking about the Orange Rectangle that somebody's pet was going to have..."

By this time, Jane was furiously taking notes.  "Is there anything else that you remember?"

"Yeah, I remember distinctly that the Square shaped tag was assigned to some pet other than Cool the one owned by Forrest (*edit*, fix to create singular solution, see the fifth post of spoiler thread for deatils).  According to Ensign, the group decided that giving a pet both a cool owner and a cool shaped tag would result in too high of a concentration of coolness, or something to that effect.  Also, Carson has a preference for basic geometric shapes, and therefore does not want the Bone shaped tag for his pet.  Last but not least, it seems that Doug the pet greatly dislikes anything shaped like a Rectangle, and therefore will not be given that particular tag."

Jane put down her pencil.  "I don't think I have enough information to work with.  Are you sure you can't remember anything else?"

"No, I've already told you everything."

Jane let out a long sigh.  "In that case, I'll take this information to the back and see if I can figure out this order."

"I'll come too, and..."

"NO!  You've already done enough damage for one day!  The only thing that's keeping you employed is my ever dwindling belief in the second chance.  Finish your shift, refrain from further stupidity, and I'll see you tomorrow."


The next day, John comes to work to find Jane waiting for him.  She shoves a piece of paper at him.

"What's this?"

"Your saving grace.  It appears that you remembered just enough from your chat yesterday for the details of the order to be figured out."

"You figured all this out?"

"Not by myself.  I summoned my friend Billy to help me out.  He saw a parallelism between this and a classic style of puzzle, but quickly determined that 'three tables wouldn't be nearly enough to figure this out'.  So we drew tables, and lots of them, and we eventually figured everything out.  If the information you gave me was all correct, this is without a doubt Ensign's order."

John took the order to the back, and the tags were finished a few hours later.  A few moments after that, Ensign could be seen coming through the front door.  She squealed when she saw that her order was ready.

"You finished it!"  She quickly opened the bag with the name tags in it and squealed again.  "And you got everything right, too!  I came here because I realized that I never told you what I wanted on each of the tags, but you guys figured out my order *and* finished it within a day!" At this point, Ensign planted a kiss on John's cheeks.  "You guys are awesome!"  Just as quickly as she came, Ensign was gone.

For a moment, John blushed, but quickly stopped at Jane's "You're still not off the hook, John..."  Soon, the lives of John and Jane returned to relative normalcy.


Your puzzle is this:  What was Ensign's order?  More specifically, who owned which pet, what species was each pet, and what shape and color tag did each pet get?

Oh my.

I think I'm going to need a bigger sheet of paper.

Edit: Also, these people are unhealthily neurotic!

One hour, one spreadsheet later, and complete doubt of my own answer...

Attempt #1

I used my fair share of paper making this thing, too, even though I liberally utilized my eraser and problem-specific shorthand to be economical with my paper.

As for the neuroticism...  (*stops laughing long enough to reply*)  As has already been mentioned, the six pet owners just happen to have their fair share of... quirks.  They're not neurotic...  (*starts humming the song Unwell*)

We present to you a clarification to this puzzle, courtesy of the sharp eye Shaun.

Yes, a square, according to geometry, is a type of rectangle.  For the purposes of this puzzle, though, the square and rectangle are distinct, unrelated shapes.  Therefore, conditions that apply to the rectangular shaped tag do not necessarily apply to the square tag.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version