Last Monday, I posted a puzzle and solicited readers to submit the solution. Two readers responded and they solved the puzzle correctly. If you were unable to solve the puzzle, today I offer the solution.
First, let me post the puzzle again.
Who Is the Engineer?
On a train, Smith, Robinson and Jones are the fireman, brakeman and engineer, but NOT respectively. Also, aboard the train there are three businessmen who have the same names: a Mr. Smith, a Mr. Robinson and a Mr. Jones.
1. Mr. Robinson lives in Detroit.
2. The brakeman lives exactly halfway between Chicago and Detroit.
3. Mr. Jones earns exactly $20,000 per year.
4. The brakeman’s nearest neighbor, one of the passengers, earns exactly three times as much as the brakeman.
5. Smith beats the fireman at billiards.
6. The passenger whose name is the same as the brakeman’s lives in Chicago.
Who is the Engineer?
A. Since Smith beats the fireman at billiards (5), Smith must be either the brakeman or the engineer.
B. The brakeman, who lives halfway between Chicago and Detroit (2), also lives near the neighbor who earns three times as much as he does.
C. The neighbor cannot be Mr. Robinson because Mr. Robinson lives in Detroit.
D. The neighbor cannot be Mr. Jones because Mr. Jones’ $20,000 a year (3) is not divisible by three.
E. Therefore, the brakeman’s neighbor must be Mr. Smith.
F. The passenger whose name is the same as the brakeman’s lives in Chicago.
G. He cannot be Mr. Robinson because Mr. Robinson lives in Detroit (1). He cannot be Mr. Smith because Mr. Smith lives between Chicago and Detroit (E).
H. Therefore, the passenger’s name is Mr. Jones.
I. Therefore, the brakeman’s name is also Jones.
J. Since Smith beats the fireman at billiards, so the fireman must be Robinson.
The Engineer is Smith.
Emeritus Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
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