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gbell12 01-24-2014 12:35 AM

Solving logic grid puzzles verbally
Hi Everyone,

I've got a book of logic grid puzzles. I can do them, but what baffles me is that the solutions are written as sentences. Like "So Miss Bush's long-lived rose (not red or cream [3]) is yellow, thus [4] her name is Rosabel."

The numbers in []'s refer to the clue numbers.

When I do these, I use the grids and the elimination technique. Are people capable of solving them verbally, without using grids to keep track of facts?


stanstar 01-27-2014 11:28 AM

Hi Greg, I would imagine there are people that smart. I am 67 yrs young and I have met many brilliant people. For about 50 years I have played chess and bridge so I have come across many people who can amaze you with their incredible minds. I knew a Doctor who passed all his exams without ever attending a lecture. When he came to collect his Doctors diploma the professor asked him who he was and why he didn't know him my friend had an extraordinary photographic memory and when it came exam time he would just flick to the page in the encyclopaedia in his mind and just copy the words he saw.

I have more true stories.


passel3 01-30-2014 12:02 PM

While some may mentally track the combinations and eliminations, I believe the reason the solutions are written verbably is to explain the meaning of what you've X'd off ("not red or cream" means you have X'd those off your grid based on verbal clues", leaving you to put a 0 in "yellow", and because you have "yellow" there, and Rosabel is associated with "yellow" based on another verbal clue, you now know Mrs. Bush's name is Rosabel).
Maybe you don't keep those relationships in your mind, once you've put an X or 0 in the appropriate grid locations, but that is what those X's and O's mean.

When someone is having problems figuring out the solution, or when they've come up with an incorrect solution, is when the verbal explanation of how the solution was derived important. The person struggling then has a chance to see why they should have put an X somewhere, or why an O is incorrectly place because of missing a relationship from the clues.

On a simple to solve puzzle, or one where you've reached the solution, then the explanation is unecessary since you've determined those verbal relationships, without having to really comprehend them because the grid documents those relationships for you, and you only needed to remember a small part of the intertwined relationships long enough to get it documented in the grid. Once there, it serves as both a memory and a relationship of two items in an abstract manner, which is why it makes it easier for people to solve logic problems, because the grid does a lot of the "heavy lifting", for those of us who can have problems just remembering who/what was involved at the start of a clue by the time we're reading the end of the same clue.
Don't know how many times I've messed up on simple things like is or is not, and marking one way vs the other. One mis-mark early in a solve is a real bummer.

gbell12 02-21-2014 01:54 PM

Thanks Stan and Passel3,

Yeah, my short-term memory is horrible. Don't know if it's just my genetic lot, an issue of bad habits brought about by the information age (why remember when you can Alt-Tab right back to that Window and read it again?), or something that should improve with training/practice.

With the sentence-based solutions, one thing I thought was interesting is that they start from the first conclusion you can draw when you use the grid. So people who can do these without the grid would either have to model the grid in their mind, or they'd have to somehow see all the inclusions and exclusions at once and have the first deduction jump out at them.

BrightSky9 02-24-2014 02:19 PM

I encountered logic puzzles when I was quite young & they had no grids. I sometimes made lists with arrows connecting related items. Or boxes: one box was Mr. Brown's house & in it would go daisies, which he grew, and under it would go teacher, which he was not. An arrow would connect him to the box for Miss Green's house, his neighbor. I'd redraw with clean updates when it became too messy. I found these in a little games publication someone in my family brought in - about 55 years ago - but I didn't know where to find more. Another set of them came my way a few years later (still no grids); I forget how. Logic puzzles did not find me again until I found this site, just 3 years ago. Grids? Grids! Great.

MartinKup 07-20-2014 11:52 AM

Solving logic grid puzzles verbally
Sorry. Just a typo. I have a number of temporary variables set up to test out logic and then change them to something meaningful when I post it. Ive edited the post for future reference.

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