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That dinner distribution puzzle - good but not-accepted solution

posted by Harald B on - last edited - Viewed by 2K users

I've seen a few people bring this up, and some other people disbelieving, so I thought I'd demonstrate just what the issue is. The puzzle I'm talking about is helping Glori get the right dish to each patron.The title is Diners and Dishes.
Here's what I figured is a (and in fact the only) correct solution:
4lrqys.png
Let's go through the rules on this one:
[LIST=1]
[*]Nobody ordered a dish resembling their spouse. Check. (but see below)
[*]One lady ordered a dish resembling the fish-eating man next to her. Check.
[*]The icecream is next to the ham. Check?
[*]Exactly one patron has a dish resembling him/her. Check.
[/LIST]
The only way this solution can be incorrect is if onion-man and fish-lady are spouses, but then the setup is misleadingly incomplete.

49 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • This is a problem with many young puzzle games (the first Layton included), puzzle writers need to be VERY cognizant of semantics to make good puzzles. I had no problem with this puzzle, since I saw what they meant, but I definitely had this problem with other puzzles for similar reasons (the fish problem, didn't realize they meant EXACTLY one fish, and that fish swallowed SPECIFICALLY the fish just below them on the food chain.), though I have not used any of the hints, which would have cleared up any semantic issues, though do I really want to give up all of my medals to get three more stars?.

  • @razzberry said: That's precisely where the semantics of this puzzle get weird. Around the corner counts as "next to" for Rule 2, but the fish lady and the pig lady don't count as being "next to" each other for the banana split and ham.

    Essentially, the game treats the table as an open U shape, instead of a continuous rectangle, which is a bit odd.

    On one end of the table you have a couple sitting(chicken lady and banana split man), this creates a continuation of seats and properly seats them "next to" the buffalo and onion men. Notice how when they look at the people sitting next to them, they would look left or right. However on the other end of the table where the photo is taken from, there is no couple. The following person in the rotation is sitting directly opposite of them in symmetrical form. Notice they are looking straight at each other. This is an example of being "across" from somebody at a dinner table. It's not the same thing happening on both ends of the table guys.

    across.jpg

    It is treated as a U shape and not a rectangle because that is the shape the people are seated in.

  • That post is misleading for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the people on the sides nearer the top should be much further down, as in the picture. Secondly, the next to in question is about the plates, which are a rectangle. Here is how the people look around the table from top down, along with your lines, and additional pink splotches to show where the plates go:
    tablers.jpg

  • @doodinthemood said: That post is misleading for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the people on the sides nearer the top should be much further down, as in the picture. Secondly, the next to in question is about the plates, which are a rectangle. Here is how the people look around the table from top down, along with your lines, and additional pink splotches to show where the plates go:
    tablers.jpg

    Regardless of how far up or down the couples are on the side, they are directly across from each other, while the couple at the end is still the continuation of people being next to each other. The other end doesn't have anybody present, and what would be a nice rectangle, or circle of people next to each other is broken. Essentially, the U shape is still intact and keeping in line with the rules of the puzzle.

    The rules themselves focus on which people are seated next to each other, not the plates. I can see how people are making a mistake in this puzzle by focusing on the plate placement and not the couples, due to the rectangular shape the plates make. Sure, the plates at the bottom are next to each other, but the people are directly across from each other. And therein lies the confusion...because the puzzle is talking about the placement of the people.

  • @Urd said: I thought about that solution too, but as said, I assumed that the Fishy lady and Miss Piggy doen't qualify as sitting next to each other, since there could be sitting someoe at the from where the picture is taken.

    Also you woldn't say you sit next so the person, opposing you on a two-person table, wouldn't you?

    And in fact there is someone (not necessarily sitting, but...) at the end of the table: the photographer.

  • You guys need to chill. If you take the table (and the z-axis) out of the picture and just look at the people, it is a line from left to right.

    Though to the TTG guys, human brains are presumptuous and arrogant, and when you don't make the rules of a puzzle explicitly clear, you get a bunch of pissed off people.
    ...
    Though I imagine you guys know that already.

  • @nodoctors said: Regardless of how far up or down the couples are on the side, they are directly across from each other, while the couple at the end is still the continuation of people being next to each other. The other end doesn't have anybody present, and what would be a nice rectangle, or circle of people next to each other is broken. Essentially, the U shape is still intact and keeping in line with the rules of the puzzle.

    The rules themselves focus on which people are seated next to each other, not the plates. I can see how people are making a mistake in this puzzle by focusing on the plate placement and not the couples, due to the rectangular shape the plates make. Sure, the plates at the bottom are next to each other, but the people are directly across from each other. And therein lies the confusion...because the puzzle is talking about the placement of the people.


    I'm not questioning that they are directly across from each other. I'm just showing that going round the corner meaning next to while across not isn't quite as easy to swallow as was implied in your picture.
    The rule in question says "the ice cream is next to the ham"
    It's not about people.

  • yeah, just played this and got it "wrong" even though i'd provided what was an acceptable solution in my eyes..

    it is due to the way that the meaning of "next to" changes between rule 2 and rule 3.

    in rule 2 "next to" is applied to the people (the person next to her)
    in rule 3, it is applied to the plates (the plates are next to each other)

    however, i don't think it's logical that "next to" for people counts for 'around the corner', and next to for plates (when they are arranged like :::) doesn't count. i see the U-shape argument, but it falls down, because on rule 3, we're no longer talking about the people's positioning - we're talking about the plates positioning - which are in more of a straight 2x3 grid.

    if rule 3 was changed to "one couple had the banana split and ham" - it would work, or "the banana split and ham were on the same side of the table".. or some other way of expressing this. i think 'next to' is too vague when we've already been allowed to use 'next to' in a loose-ish way for rule 2.

    oh well! enjoying this game a lot other than this! :)

  • @floatstarpx said: yeah, just played this and got it "wrong" even though i'd provided what was an acceptable solution in my eyes..

    it is due to the way that the meaning of "next to" changes between rule 2 and rule 3.

    in rule 2 "next to" is applied to the people (the person next to her)
    in rule 3, it is applied to the plates (the plates are next to each other)

    however, i don't think it's logical that "next to" for people counts for 'around the corner', and next to for plates (when they are arranged like :::) doesn't count. i see the U-shape argument, but it falls down, because on rule 3, we're no longer talking about the people's positioning - we're talking about the plates positioning - which are in more of a straight 2x3 grid.

    if rule 3 was changed to "one couple had the banana split and ham" - it would work, or "the banana split and ham were on the same side of the table".. or some other way of expressing this. i think 'next to' is too vague when we've already been allowed to use 'next to' in a loose-ish way for rule 2.

    oh well! enjoying this game a lot other than this! :)

    In this type of puzzle, the people and the plates are the same, referring to a person implies their plate, and vice-versa. If you start thinking of them as separate, that is a fallacy in your own reasoning. Though, again, with a puzzle like this is can be hard to separate errors in one's own judgement from legitimate semantic problems with the puzzle, which makes it harder to correct or recognize those errors and could have caused them (inadvertently) in the first place.

  • @alexonfyre said: This is a problem with many young puzzle games (the first Layton included), puzzle writers need to be VERY cognizant of semantics to make good puzzles. I had no problem with this puzzle, since I saw what they meant, but I definitely had this problem with other puzzles for similar reasons (the fish problem, didn't realize they meant EXACTLY one fish, and that fish swallowed SPECIFICALLY the fish just below them on the food chain.), though I have not used any of the hints, which would have cleared up any semantic issues, though do I really want to give up all of my medals to get three more stars?.

    Actually, the rules say that:

    1) Each fish has one other fish inside, except the one with the key.
    3) All fishes dine on the next rung of the food chain (except tiny tanfish, who eat their own kind.)

    I'll agree that the rules for other puzzles were a bit vague though.

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