In the early 1960s in the US, everyone was trying to find out who owned the zebra. Without much luck. A logic puzzle that only a small percentage of the population are able to solve, we have reproduced a version of the infamous “Who owns the zebra?” problem here. Note that there’s more than one way to solve the puzzle.
The facts essential to solving the problem are as follows:
1. There are five houses in a row.
2. The Englishman lives in the red house.
3. The Spaniard owns the dog.
4. Coffee is drunk in the green house.
5. The Australian drinks tea.
6. The green house is immediately to the right of the ivory house.
7. The van driver owns the horse.
8. A hybrid car is owned by the man in the yellow house.
9. Milk is drunk in the middle house.
10. The Canadian lives in the first house.
11. The man who rides a bike lives in a house next to the man with the ferret.
12. A hybrid car is kept in a house next to a house where the parrot is kept.
13. The truck driver drinks orange juice.
14. The Japanese drives a sports car.
15. The Canadian lives next to the blue house.
Each of the five houses is painted a different colour, and their inhabitants are of different nationalities, own different pets, drink different beverages and have different means of transportation. One other thing: in statement 6, right means on your right.
Now, who drinks water?
(And more importantly) Who owns the zebra?
This article first appeared in New Philosopher magazine, a quarterly print publication for people who like to think.