What's All This Then?

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What's All This Then?

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Wednesday Edition

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Coudal Partners

it's only logical that the fish return

School of Government

Under cover of darkness, six men are meeting in a cabin in the North Woods. Mr. Grouper, Dr. Trout, Mr. Ray, Mr. Mackerel, 'The Snapper', and Mr. Bass must decide between them who will govern their super-secret ichthyological society. They are the only members eligible for the offices of President, Vice-President, and Secretary. And this is their challenge.

Grouper won't be an officer unless Snapper is President
Trout won't serve if he outranks Ray
Trout won't serve with Bass under any conditions
Ray won't serve with both Snapper & Bass
Ray won't serve if Bass is President or Trout is secretary
Mackerel won't serve with Ray or Snapper unless he outranks him
Snapper won't be Vice-President
Snapper won't be secretary if Mackerel is an officer
Snapper won't serve with Grouper unless Bass serves too
Bass won't serve unless either he or Ray is President

How can the three offices be filled?

Enter your email adress and your answer in the form below and we'll randomly pick three people who get it right and send them a signed copy of Kevin Guilfoile's wicked thriller Cast of Shadows, a limited-edition disc set of the Pixies at Lollapolooza in Chicago, a copy of Selections from Europe 2005, the best of the Dead Can Dance's European Tour, a $20 coupon for 37signals Backpack and whatever else we can find around the studio. Good luck.

Note I: If the form above makes you pine for the good old days when you could write to our personally, with your answers, dreams and whiny complaints, feel free to do it that way.

Note II: Jonathan Barlow writes that he's not "the purest programmer, though. I'm sure there are a lot of things that could have been more efficient. I sort of thought of it as a way to explore all the array functions that I hardly ever use." He's talking about this PHP script he wrote to solve our current fish puzzle. Let's see one in Ruby or something else smartguys. All you coders decide who has written the most elegant solution and we'll send them a prize too. And everybody else, no cheating!

Note III: Aside from a ton of entries and some cool artwork which we'll post soon, this contest has brought out the coders in force and in many languages. We don't feel qualified to judge these entries, so assuming they generate the proper answer we'll choose one at random and send him a prize package too. Unless somebody has a better idea.

Jonathan Barlow's original PHP solution.
AJ Zmudosky's Ruby solution.
Icey's beautiful C++ solution/ (Make sure word-wrapping is off.)
Scott Ahten solved it in his first Ruby application.
Paul Epps wrote "A quick object-oriented solution, using VBScript."
Andrew Durdin contributes this script in Python.

Note IV: For people who like this sort of check our original Einstein's Fish Puzzle and a slightly different sort of brain-teaser called Da Vinci's Other Code here. Get busy.

Note V: We have a dastardly new puzzle set for after the first of the year. Subscribe under "Infrequent Mail" on the right to get first crack at it.

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For a quick note when features like this go live and other sporadic updates, which always include a way to win free stuff, enter your email here. We won't ever abuse the privilege. Period.