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What is a Logic Puzzle?

A logic puzzle, also known as a logic problem or a logic grid puzzle, is a story of mystery. But you are not only its reader, you are it's most important character - the detective! And as with any detective worth their spyglass, you must solve the mystery. For this discussion, I will take a look at the logic puzzle "Five Houses".

Most logic puzzles have properties such as its title, author, and number of stars. One star means the puzzle is easy, and five stars means it is very difficult. Each puzzle also has a humorous image. While these properties are important, they won't help you solve a logic puzzle.

What is important are the clues in the puzzle. The clues are usually numbered after the introductory text, but sometimes clues lie in the introduction as well. Please read the text of the puzzle with the following questions in mind.

Note: I should point out that some logic puzzles may not give you all of the nouns. For example, there may be nouns such as the age of people that need to be calculated. In those cases you will need to (1) use a name that acts as a placeholder, and (2) have a rule that will calculate the age. Jolly good fun.

The information needed by Mystery Master to solve a logic puzzle are given by the first five tabs shown at the bottom of each puzzle page. These tabs are labeled: Nouns, Verbs, Links, Facts, and Rules.

How to Solve a Logic Puzzle

The two most important tools for solving a logic puzzle are the Chart and the Grids. The chart displays nouns that are with another noun, while the grids display the marks for each combination of noun 1 and noun 2. Only the grids allow you to manually solve a puzzle. Looking at the characters given in the Verbs tab, for any cell that contains the possible character (a blank), you can enter either the negative character 'X', or the positive character 'O'.

When you enter a character into the grids, this is called entering a mark, which is displayed in the Marks tab.

Two additional tabs are the Stats tab, which displays statistics about how the puzzle was solved, and the Setup tab, which allows you to set your preferences.

The tabs that are concerned with solving a puzzle are labeled: Marks, Chart, Grids, Stats, and Setup.