What's All This Then?
What's All This Then?
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Writers George Saunders, Jonathan Eig, and Andrei Codrescu
review experiences at Field-Tested Books.
Periodically we publish a logic puzzler. Our most popular one was Einstein's Fish which happened to coincide with the holidays. Lots of people wrote to say they worked the puzzle at their family parties. So, let's make it a tradition. Print out this page and give your relatives something new to argue about this year and you might even win a cool prize.
Four movie actors are in a cafe, sitting together at a square table, like the one shown here with the seats numbered. They are discussing their most recent projects while waiting for their salads. Each has just returned from a different location where he or she was shooting a different type of film, one of which is a costume drama.
From the information provided can you figure out where each person sat, his or her full name, the location he or she had just returned from, and the type of movie each had shot?
1. York (who isn't sitting in seat #1) shot a science fiction movie.
2. The person sitting in seat #2 didn't just return from Tokyo.
3. Julia is in seat #3.
4. Hannah (who isn't sitting in seat #4) is across from the person who just returned from Hawaii.
5. Marks is sitting to the left of the person who just returned from Spain.
6. Moon did not shoot an action thriller.
7. Glory and Robert are sitting next to each other; one of them is surnamed Smith and the other had just returned from Ireland.
8. Robert (who isn't Moon) shot a romantic comedy.
There are no tricks, pure logic will get you the correct answer. And yes, there is enough information to arrive at the only correct answer.
Prizes: Send your correct answer and/or complaints to and we'll randomly pick two people who get it right and if they are in the Chicago area we'll invite them to our regular Thursday lunch with 37signals, catered at our studios by Big Delicious Planet. If they're out of the area we'll send them an authentic Chicago deep-dish pizza. Five other winners we'll receive a 3-Pack of Field Notes Memo Books. Good luck.
Note: We were tempted to include the phrase "show your work" with the rules for entry but then we figured that any dork who would Google a puzzle like this in order to win would have to live with self-loathing and guilt for the rest of their life and that would far outweigh the value of the prize package.
Note II: the deadline for entry is Friday, November 30th. We'll announce the winners after that and we'll post the answers first to our RSS feed, which gives you the freshest Fresh Signals all day long and includes updates on contests and other stuff on the site too. So you might wanna subscribe.
Note III: For people who like this sort of thing here are our previous puzzlers: Einstein's Fish, School of Government, Da Vinci's Other Code and Which Porn Star Ate the Most Hot Dogs? For a notice when we post the next puzzler and other stuff, add your email address under "Infrequent Mail" to the right.
Note IV: The photo of the table is not meant to suggest who anyone is or where they are sitting. It's just so you know how to identify the seats by number.
Note VII: It's time to roll out the red carpet and watch the winners saunter on down to the paparazzi's flashing light bulbs, fans screaming their names, free swag and eternal fame and fortune. Well, I may be exaggerating a bit, but at least the free swag part is right.
Five runners up will get a free 3-pack of Field Notes Brand Memo Books and our two Grand Prize Winners will either get a Chicago Style Deep Dish pizza delivered to their door if they are out of the Chicago area or a lunch from Big Delicious Planet with us and the 37signals crew here at our studio if they are in the area and are so inclined. And in a last minute move to mollify the maddened, we will give the most frustrated puzzle player (as judged by the harshness of tone in emails received) a free Nick Campbell Comic Book Poster in the hopes that the sight of all those comic book covers will bring a smile to his/her face. All winners were chosen at random from the correct entries and the most frustrated was chosen from all entries.
So without further ado, the Five Runners up are: Shawn Campbell, Susie Talbert, Jesse Marass, Brian Norris, and Jill Hubley.
The Most Frustrated Puzzle Player is: Eric Mersmann, who did not "sound like a total d-bag" as he said.
Drum roll please.... The Grand Prize Winners are: Mike Hiscock in Connecticut Jaimie Vargas in Chicago.
Thanks to all who sent in answers and keep checking back as the next puzzle is on the horizon.
Here's the solution. No peeking if you haven't tried to solve the puzzler yet.
Visit our Cover Page for links to lots more puzzles, projects and films.
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We hated the options available for custom packaging DVDs and CDs so we created a brand that gives creative professionals and hobbyists the tools to make great stuff. Here's a bit from the latest Jewelboxing weblog entry:
"Clients are always stunned at the result, almost to the point of being speechless, shocked that their faces are so artfully placed on a professional DVD cover. I couldn't be happier with Jewelboxing and I think I can say the same thing for my clients as well." Read the entire post.
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