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The Pet Detective  Pet detective

You have been promoted to pet detective while Ace Ventura guides some tourists on a safari. From the following clues, you must figure out who is the owner of each pet, and where the pet got lost.

  1. A rabbit and a dog are two of the lost pets.
  2. The pet lost in the garden is owned by Mary.
  3. Robert does not own a dog.
  4. John's pet was lost in the woods.
  5. The cat was not lost in the woods or in the park.

Strategy for solving logic problems

I. Read the complete problem:
Get a general idea of the problem. Here we have 3 owners, 3 pets, and 3 locations. You are being asked to match each pet with an owner and a location. A 3×3 table, also called a logic matrix, can be used to organize this information.

II. Make a list of the members of each category:
Owners: Mary, Robert, John
Pets: rabbit, dog, cat
Places: park, garden, woods

III. Start filling the table with information from the clues.

The clues may provide direct or deduced information and can be processed in any order. We start by putting the owner names in the top row. Here, we start with clue number 2:

2. The pet lost in the garden is owned by Mary.
Owners Mary John Robert
Pets      
Places garden    

5. The cat was not lost in the woods or in the park.
Therefore, the cat must have been lost in the garden.
Owners Mary John Robert
Pets cat    
Places garden    

4. John's pet was lost in the woods.
... and, therefore, Robert's pet must have been lost in the park.
Owners Mary John Robert
Pets cat    
Places garden woods park

1. A rabbit and a dog are two of the lost pets.
3. Robert does not own a dog.
This means that Robert owns the rabbit, and John must own the dog.
Owners Mary John Robert
Pets cat dog rabbit
Places garden woods park

Congratulations! You now qualify as a pet detective.

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