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Solving the ‘Einstein” puzzle. Carol Mullen MST Summer Program 2006 Daemen College.

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solving the einstein puzzle

Solving the ‘Einstein” puzzle

Carol Mullen

MST Summer Program 2006

Daemen College


The puzzle has been sent by email and has appeared on several websites. Einstein is said to have stated that only 2% of the population could solve it. Of that group, only 1% would be able to solve it within one hour.


The Einstein Puzzle

There are no tricks, just pure logic.

1. In a street,there are 5 houses painted 5 different colors.

2. In each house lives a person of different nationality.

3.These 5 homeowners each drink a different kind of beverage, smoke a different brand of cigar, and keep a different pet.

The question is: "Who owns the fish?"



1. The Brit lives in the red house.

2. The Swede keeps dogs as pets.

3. The Dane drinks tea.

4. The green house is next to and on the left of the white house.

5. The green house's owner drinks coffee.

6. The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.

7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.

8. The man living in the center house drinks milk.

9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.

10.The man who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.

11. The man who keeps the horse lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.

12. The owner who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer.

13. The German smokes Prince.

14. The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.

15. The man who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water.


In order to solve the puzzle I had to make some


1. The owner is the resident of each house.

2. One of the residents owns the fish.

3. The term neighbor in the last hint refers only

to a directly adjacent neighbor.

4. The houses are on the same side of the street.

5. They are next to each other, and are ordered

from left to right as you face them rather than

standing in front of a house facing the street

(i.e. facing the same direction as the house).


There are two straight forward or unambiguous hints.

#8. The resident of the center house drinks milk.

#9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.

Once we put the Norwegian in the first house, Hint #14 leads us to conclude that House #2 is blue. (It is the only house next to the Norwegian.)

hints 4 and 5 indicate the following
Hints 4 and 5 indicate the following:
  • Coffee is the
  • beverage in the
  • green house, which is
  • next to and on the left
  • of the white house.

The center house has been established as where milk is the beverage, so it cannot be for the coffee drinker in the green house.

  • The coffee-green-white ‘combo’ can only be placed with the coffee and green house at house #4.The green house cannot be first because it would be left of the blue, not the white. The second house has been established as blue, so cannot be green.

The combo is only accommodated in house 4 and 5. House 4 is green with the coffee drinker (hint 5). House 5 is white(hint 4).

The Brit lives in the red house, so the Brit cannot live in 2, 4, or 5 because they are not red. The Brit cannot live in 1 because it is occupied by the Norwegian. Therefore, the Brit must live in #3, which must be red.

House #1 must be yellow, by default. (It is the only house left and yellow is the only color not yet assigned.)

The cigar in house #1 is Dunhill (hint #7).

Hint #11 tells us that the horses are next to the man who smokes Dunhill, so they are next to house #1 and must be house #2


The person in the first house has to drink water.

(Milk is in the center--hint 9;

green house drinks coffee--hint 5;

Dane drinks tea--hint 3, so tea is not the beverage for the Norwegian who lives in the first house--hint 9; and

the one who smokes Bluemasters drinks beer--hint 12--however the owner of the yellow house, the first house smokes Dunhill).

With milk, coffee, tea and beer contraindicated for house 1, the beverage in house 1 must be water.


Now, the only house with no beverage and no cigar is house 5, so the beer and the Bluemasters are in house 5.


The only house with no beverage, is house 2, so the beverage in house 2 must be tea (it’s the only beverage left) and the Dane must live in House 2 (hint #3).


The German smokes Prince (hint 13). House 4 is the only one left that needs a nationality and a cigar. So, the German smokes Prince in house 4.


There is only one spot left for cigars so Pall Mall are in House 3.

Hint 6 tells us that Pall Mall rears birds, so the birds are also in House 3.


The cat must be next to the blends, so it is in House 1.

This leaves the fish a place only with German!