Mystery Master

Demonstration for Five Houses

Michael Benson


Five Houses

Introduction

Hello, I am an Artificial Linguistics Nanobot... but you can call me Alan. My objective is to show you how to solve the two-star puzzle "Five Houses" using the Mystery Master application.

This version of the puzzle appeared in the Marilyn vos Savant column "Ask Marilyn". There are five houses, where each house is occupied by a man of unique nationality, hobby, pet, and favorite drink. Though the puzzle asks you to find who drinks water, and who owns the zebra, you want to find the complete solution.

Tools of the Trade

Below the text of the puzzle are two important controls; the Board and the Tabs. These controls are discussed in other tutorials.

Note: The following demonstration is performed on a development computer.

For this demonstration, I will focus on the tabs for the Chart and the Grids. The chart and the grids are the two primary tools in solving a logic puzzle. The chart shows the solution in progress. The grids show one of three possible states for any two nouns, where the state is denoted by the character given in the Verbs tab.

You can say that in order to solve a logic grid puzzle, you must replace each blank with either an 'X' or an 'O'.

Here is an example. The first clue tells us that the Englishman lives in the red house. Select the Grids tab, and in the intersecting cell for "Englishman" and "red house", you would enter 'O'. If the clue had stated the opposite, you would have entered 'X'.

To have Mystery Master solve the puzzle, make sure all solving options are enabled in the Setup form, select the Chart tab, then click the Solve button. In a moment, we have the solution. If I click on the Grids tab, you can see how the grids are filled out.

True/False Detective

Since Mystery Master has shown it can solve this logic puzzle, the question becomes... "Can You?"

To solve the puzzle on your own, first select the Setup tab, and uncheck All for both the Finder and the Lawyer. Now select the Grids tab. The grids allow you to solve the puzzle. As mentioned earlier, if you think two nouns are together, you enter 'O' in the appropriate cell. If you think two nouns are not together, you enter 'X'. If you make a mistake, just click the Undo button. This will undo the last mark you entered.

Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed this demonstration. With more support, I will be able to star in more videos. And if there is no support, I guess I'll have time to binge-watch "Lost". Thank you.