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That dinner distribution puzzle - good but not-accepted solution

posted by Harald B on - last edited - Viewed by 1.7K 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
  • @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.

  • Have you guys never been to a restaurant? They're sitting in a booth, which has a single contiguous bench. I understand missing that, but you can't argue the question is ambiguous, there is a clear difference between sitting next to someone around the corner in a booth and sitting accross from someone at the end of the table.

  • @doodinthemood said: 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.

    I'm...not exactly sure what that sentence means, so I can't really respond properly. From what I gather, people seem to just focus on the picture while completely throwing what I'll just call "dinner table logic" out the window. Yeah, the plates are "next" to each other when you just stare at a picture, but if you were setting a table, you would naturally feel that these plates were set across from each other as their guests are directly opposite and facing each other. It's just so bizarre to me that this sort of thing needs to be broken down, but it's certainly a situation of one man's obvious thing not being so obvious to others.

  • @bamse said: 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.

    I have come to the conclusion that the rules for all of the puzzles in the game were sufficiently vague that most players had trouble with at least one puzzle because of it. Those puzzles differed depending on the player, but chances are if you misunderstood a certain puzzle that others were okay with, you probably did understand one that they didn't. This is why I try to only comment on legitimate flawed logic on these type of puzzles, instead of arguing over the clarity of the rules, which I realize (now) is a legit reason.

  • I've played through the demo (which does not include this puzzle) and read through this thread, and aside from the issues mentioned already, I have an issue with the word "resembles" in this context. While the guy whose head looks like an onion is meant to "resemble" the onion rings, in my opinion, raw onions don't at all resemble onions which have been sliced into rings, battered, and cooked into onion rings. Similarly, a buffalo bears no resemblance to a hamburger, even if the patty in said hamburger is made from buffalo meat. "Resembles" is too subjective, and a logic puzzle, of all things, shouldn't have anything subjective in it. If the guys' names were Onionrings Jones and Buffalomeatburger Smith and the clue were "nobody had a dish with the same name as their spouse", I might be more appeased by this puzzle. If you make another Puzzle Agent, I highly recommend having the puzzles passed by some of my cohorts in the puzzle community who are really keen on semantic issues like this.

    To tell the truth, for reasons I cannot really articulate, I tend to enjoy a well-constructed pencil-and-paper logic puzzle more than the types of puzzles found in Puzzle Agent and Professor Layton. As such, I'd rather buy any of the DS titles in Nikoli's Puzzle Series (especially Slitherlink) than Puzzle Agent. What I'd really like to see, though, is a second season of SBCG4AP. :)

  • @mathgrant said: What I'd really like to see, though, is a second season of SBCG4AP. :)

    Oh yeah, cause Strong Bad is well-constructed and logical. :]

  • @mathgrant said: I've played through the demo (which does not include this puzzle) and read through this thread, and aside from the issues mentioned already, I have an issue with the word "resembles" in this context. While the guy whose head looks like an onion is meant to "resemble" the onion rings, in my opinion, raw onions don't at all resemble onions which have been sliced into rings, battered, and cooked into onion rings. Similarly, a buffalo bears no resemblance to a hamburger, even if the patty in said hamburger is made from buffalo meat. "Resembles" is too subjective, and a logic puzzle, of all things, shouldn't have anything subjective in it. If the guys' names were Onionrings Jones and Buffalomeatburger Smith and the clue were "nobody had a dish with the same name as their spouse", I might be more appeased by this puzzle. If you make another Puzzle Agent, I highly recommend having the puzzles passed by some of my cohorts in the puzzle community who are really keen on semantic issues like this.

    Just sounds like you want the puzzles to be simpler.
    I found much joy to this multi-part puzzle, finding out who is who, and then whos dish belongs where.
    I understand alot of people had problems with the semantics of this puzzle, but it was a really fun puzzle and I'd love to see more of them in any future Puzzle Agents.

    (EDIT: 500 Posts, woohoo!)

  • @adventureaddict said: Just sounds like you want the puzzles to be simpler.

    I am sure that not having figured out how to articulate what I'm about to say until just now makes me look very unintelligent, but I feel like I should say it.

    To me, it's not about puzzles being simpler, but about puzzles having clearly defined rules. As shown by the debate earlier in this thread, the puzzle was presented in such a fashion as to make the definition of "next to" ambiguous, and I argue that the definition of "resembles" is even worse (just how well does a man with a buffalo head resemble a hamburger with buffalo meat, or a raw onion resemble battered and fried onion rings?). In a puzzle like this one that presents itself as pure logic ("Here are some clues, now make all of them true!"), there should be no obstacles between the player and the puzzle, and poorly-written prose within the puzzle is a major obstacle. The deciphering of such prose does not contribute positively to any sort of "aha" moment I might have when solving the puzzle, nor to any sense of appreciation for the author's artisanship. You can make the solution hard to find without making the rules unclear!

    I am a hardcore fan of logic puzzles, being a regular customer of the Japanese publisher Nikoli, a published puzzle constructor in the Turkish publication Akil Oyunlari, and the co-author of Fillomino-Fillia on Logic Masters India, but this puzzle left a horrible taste in my mouth that made me want to play Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People. Logic puzzles should make me crave more logic puzzles, not dissatisfy me to the point that I crave a highly entertaining, but illogical, series of point-and-click adventure games.

  • According to a preview, Puzzle Agent 2 has much clearer puzzle instructions. Hopefully this is true, as I agree with Grant of Math.

  • Wow, oldthread is old. But yeah, Grant phrases it well.

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