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#1 2023-02-20 19:56:31

jiaoqian
Novice
Registered: 2023-02-20
Posts: 1

Is Ships puzzle ambiguous?

https://www.mathsisfun.com/puzzles/ships.html

Why my process finally left cocoa and tea and two blanks, one is what French carries, the other is what Brazilian carries. Assigning cocoa or tea to either blank seems OK.

What is wrong?

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#2 2023-02-21 01:15:54

phrontister
Real Member
From: The Land of Tomorrow
Registered: 2009-07-12
Posts: 4,748

Re: Is Ships puzzle ambiguous?

Hi jiaoqian, and welcome to the Forum! smile

I did this puzzle many years ago, and, like you, could not resolve the French/Brazilian cocoa/tea issue.

That means there are two solutions, which, for me, is disappointing.

I've done many of these types of logic puzzles, and the Ships Puzzle is one of the very few I've come across that has multiple solutions...

Last edited by phrontister (2023-02-21 12:01:46)


"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

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#3 2023-02-23 06:47:50

Bob
Administrator
Registered: 2010-06-20
Posts: 9,628

Re: Is Ships puzzle ambiguous?

I tried it yesterday and got this result too.

For this sort of puzzle I'd prefer a single solution but sometimes in life there is more than one.  The solution page does acknowledge the alternatives.

Can anyone find a simple edit that makes the solution unique? **

Bob

** but I don't have editing rights to the puzzles so I cannot update it, sorry.


Children are not defined by school ...........The Fonz
You cannot teach a man anything;  you can only help him find it within himself..........Galileo Galilei
Sometimes I deliberately make mistakes, just to test you!  …………….Bob smile

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#4 2023-02-23 16:00:04

phrontister
Real Member
From: The Land of Tomorrow
Registered: 2009-07-12
Posts: 4,748

Re: Is Ships puzzle ambiguous?

Hi Bob;

Can anyone find a simple edit that makes the solution unique?

Here's a simple edit to Clue 5 that produces a unique solution by replacing 'To the right of' with 'Next':

5. Next to the ship carrying cocoa is a ship going to Marseille.

Clues 7, 11 & 14 also use 'next'.

smile

Last edited by phrontister (2023-02-27 01:55:16)


"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

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