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Who Stole the Birdseed? (Posted on 2004-10-21) Difficulty: 3 of 5
  Bonnie bought a bag of birdseed. She left it in her apartment (#5) before she went to work, intending to fill the feeder that afternoon. But when she got back, the bag of birdseed was gone!

  There were four other people living in the same apartment building as her, all of whom were avid birdwatchers like Bonnie. One of them must have done it. Look at the clues below. If you know everybody's name, apartment number (#1 through #4), and favourite bird, you will know who is guilty.

1. The guilty person's apartment number is not numbered one higher or one lower than Hal's.
2. Joe's favourite bird is the crow; his apartment number is one lower than that of Ike (who doesn't like robins).
3. The guilty person's apartment is not #3 (the number of the finch-lover's).
4. Gil is neither at apartment #1 nor the wren-lover.

Whodunit?

See The Solution Submitted by Captain Paradox    
Rating: 3.0263 (38 votes)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
Mini Rant... ok, maybe not mini :) | Comment 25 of 133 |

I'm not trying to pick on the Cap'n, but I think this was a poorly worded problem.  Based on the various discussions in the comments, I agree that there is actually one solution, but I think it takes too many assumptions to get there.

You shouldn't have to assume that Hal can't be guilty party.  If Hal were guilty, he would still satisfy the first clue, so it should be a reasonable possibility.

You shouldn't have to assume that the wren-lover must not be in apt#1.  Clue four should just mean that Gil is not in apartment one, oh and by the way his favorite bird isn't the wren.  Wasn't there a Whodunit (X) where someone said something like this and it DIDN'T mean they were two separate people?  I think I remember that it messed up Penny when she made this assumption.  So how should you know when you can and when you can't assume these things?  I think if it is unclear you should not assume they are different, or else it should be clear.

You shouldn't have to assume that the "if you know what and where everyone is, then you'll know who is guilty" means "if you make a legal setup but can't tell for sure who the guilty person is, then you picked the wrong setup even though it's legal."

It was just too wishy washy and I felt like the solution (which I do agree with) was kind of a hack.  I had no warm fuzzies when I came to the conclusion that I agreed with the solution.

Sorry for being negative!  You all can disagree with me, but if you're going to reply to this with the purpose of changing my mind, don't bother because my mind is made up :)


  Posted by nikki on 2004-10-22 18:49:31
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