Posted by: zhak39 | March 27, 2010


Sam comes up with a variety of ways to distract me at 9:00 each night specifically so that he doesn’t have to go to bed.  The other night he handed me the following, a puzzle purportedly developed by Einstein when he was a teenager.


Einstein’s Riddle!

There are 5 houses in 5 different colors. In each house lives a person with a different nationality. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar, or drink the same beverage.The question is: Who owns the fish?


  • The Brit lives in the red house.
  • The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
  • The Dane drinks tea.
  • The green house is on the left of the white house.
  • The green homeowner drinks coffee.
  • The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
  • The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
  • The man living in the center house drinks milk.
  • The Norwegian lives in the first house.
  • The man who smokes Blend lives next to the one who keeps cats.
  • The man who keeps the horse lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
  • The owner who smokes Bluemaster drinks beer.
  • The German smokes prince.
  • The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
  • The man who smokes Blend has a neighbor who drinks water.

Einstein wrote this riddle early during the 19th century. He said 98% of the world could not solve it. Its not hard, you just need to pay attention and be patient.

Just for kicks and giggles I made a bunch of copies and started handing them out to the very incredibly smart people that come through our suite of offices.  The best reaction was from a brilliant physics and math guy who at first said, ‘oh I’ll look at that after I finish this.’  Forty-five minutes later he came up to my desk and said “This is really hard.” Twenty minutes after that he asked for another copy to give to his department chair.

Sam solved it in under twenty minutes.


  1. Er ist ein intelligentes Kind!

  2. Errrrrr, yes er is?

  3. It’s German for he’s a smart kid.

  4. Thank you, he really is.

  5. More puzzles~~

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