Which is the favorite car?
When we have to stay home in self-isolation, it’s important to exercise the body and mind. Here is a logic puzzle for the mind.
Which car does each family member prefer to drive?
Adapted by Israel Zwick, March 30, 2020
Author’s Note: The following story was adapted from Classic Logic Puzzles (Sterling Publishing Co., 2003). The story is entirely fictional. Any resemblance to real persons, places, or events is completely coincidental.
It’s a week before Pesach 5780. The Kronkeit family is sitting by the window of their modest Queens home watching their four cars being pounded by the exceptionally heavy rain. Normally, at this time, the cars wouldn’t be parked by the house, but would be heavily used. Mr. Kronkeit, an accountant, would be driving around to see his clients so that he could complete their tax returns before the April 15th deadline. Mrs. Kronkeit, a special education teacher, would be at her school teaching her students the rudiments of the upcoming holiday. Their youngest son, Yonah, the only one not married yet, just returned from his rabbinical seminary in Jerusalem, Israel. He would be using his car to run vital errands for his mother. He would be driving to different supermarkets, wine shops, and houseware stores. He would have to go to the synagogue for a special cleansing of the pots and pans for Pesach.
But this Pesach would be different from any other Pesach they had known. Their neighborhood in Queens was hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was situated right between two busy airports and it had a densely populated, multi-ethnic community. So, there were strict instructions from both the community leaders and rabbinical leaders to stay home for Pesach, without any visitation from outside family or friends. It was imperative to contain the spread of the highly contagious virus. Strict social distancing was imperative.
So, the Kronkeit family stared at their cars lamenting the loss of the Pesach that they had so carefully planned. They were going to have their Seder with their 18 children and grandchildren. Then when their grandchildren were off from school, they were going to take them to the Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, and the big shopping mall near Harriman, NY, Woodbury Commons.
Instead, they stared sadly, and adoringly at their cars, wondering when they will get a chance to use them again. The four cars were a roadster, a sedan, a new SUV, and a pickup truck. Each family member had their own favorite car. One car was an old classic that Mr. Kronkeit was attached to, but was rarely used.
Assume that each of the following statements are true. Determine which is the preferred car for each of the family members and the color of each of the four vehicles.
- Mr. Kronkeit drives the white vehicle, which is not the sedan, to see his clients.
- The pickup truck has fewer miles on it than the yellow vehicle, the green vehicle, or the white vehicle.
- The vehicle that Yonah drives is not the roadster.
- The old classic is green but is driven only rarely.
- Mrs. Kronkeit prefers to drive the red vehicle.
Determine which car that each family prefers to drive and the color of each of the four vehicles.
Solution: Don’t look unless you’re ready to tear your hair out, or your mother is pestering you to help with the Pesach preparations.
From statement 1, we know that Mr. Kronkeit drives a white vehicle which is not the sedan. From statements 2 and 5, we can determine that Mrs. Kronkeit drives the pickup truck which is red. From statement 3, the vehicle that Yonah drives is not the roadster. From statement 4, the only two vehicles remaining for Yonah are the sedan and the new SUV. Since he isn’t driving the red, white, or green, he has to drive the yellow vehicle which is the new SUV. The green old classic has to be the sedan.
Mr. Kronkeit…….white roadster
Mrs. Kronkeit…….red pickup truck
Yonah……………….. yellow new SUV
Old classic………….green sedan