Who Owns The Zebra?

June 16, 2009

This famous puzzle was first published by Life magazine on December 17, 1962. It has been variously attributed to both Albert Einstein and Lewis Carroll, but the true author is not known. There are several versions; this is the original from Life:

1 There are five houses.

2 The Englishman lives in the red house.

3 The Spaniard owns the dog.

4 Coffee is drunk in the green house.

5 The Ukrainian drinks tea.

6 The green house is immediately to the right of the ivory house.

7 The Old Gold smoker owns snails.

8 Kools are smoked in the yellow house.

9 Milk is drunk in the middle house.

10 The Norwegian lives in the first house.

11 The man who smokes Chesterfields lives in the house next to the man with the fox.

12 Kools are smoked in the house next to the house where the horse is kept.

13 The Lucky Strike smoker drinks orange juice.

14 The Japanese smokes Parliaments.

15 The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.

In the interest of clarity, it must be added that each of the five houses is painted a different color, and their inhabitants are of different national extractions, own different pets, drink different beverages and smoke different brands of American cigarettes.

Your task is to write a program to solve the puzzle and determine: Who drinks water? Who owns the zebra? When you are finished, you are welcome to read or run a suggested solution, or to post your own solution or discuss the exercise in the comments below.

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