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aha vol17 Aha! Puzzle This

“Einstein’s Riddle”

It’s rumored that Albert Einstein made up this logic puzzle and that he claimed that 98% of the population could not solve it. Are you among the 2%?

There are 5 houses, each of a different color. Each of their owners has a unique heritage, drinks a certain type of beverage, smokes a certain brand of cigarette, and keeps a certain variety of pet. None of the owners have the same variety of pet, smoke the same brand of cigarette, or drink the same beverage.

• The Brit lives in the red house.
• The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
• The Dane drinks tea.
• Looking from the front, the green house is just to the left of the white house.
• The green house’s owner drinks coffee.
• The person who smokes Pall Malls raises birds.
• The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhills.
• The owner of the center house drinks milk.
• The Norwegian lives in the leftmost house.
• The owner who smokes Blends lives next to the one who keeps cats.
• The owner who keeps a horse lives next to the one who smokes Dunhills.
• The owner who smokes Blue Masters also drinks beer.
• The German smokes Princes.
• The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
• The owner who smokes Blends has a neighbor who drinks water.

Who owns the pet fish?

Michael H. Pryor

Michael H. Pryor is the co-founder and president of Fog Creek Software. He runs a technical interview site at

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