Logic

You've Got Character!

Four students wrote book reports on the same book. Each student described the main character in his or her report. But their teacher could tell that these students didn't read very carefully, because each one described the main character differently.

• Annie wrote that his name is Heathcliff, he is short, he has long hair, and that he wears an earring.
• Bernard wrote that his name is Sherlock and that he is tall, has long hair, and wears an earring.
• Carolyn wrote that his name is Romeo and that he is medium height, has short hair, and wears an earring.
• Daniel wrote that his name is Harry and that he is short, has long hair, and never wears an earring.

Each student got only one detail out of four right. What is the correct description of the main character of the book?

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Begin by making a chart like the following:

 name height hair length earring? Annie Heathcliff short long yes Bernard Sherlock tall long yes Carolyn Romeo medium short yes Daniel Harry short long no

Now begin crossing out details that you know are wrong.

• Since only one detail in each column can be correct, we know the character doesn't wear an earring, so cross out each "yes" in the earring column. Daniel was right about the earring.
• Since Daniel can be right about only one thing, cross out "Harry," "short," and "long" in Daniel's row.
• Since only one detail in each column can be correct, you can cross out "long" the two times it still appears in the hair-length column. Carolyn was right about the hair.
• Since Carolyn can be right about only one thing, cross out "Romeo" and "medium" in Carolyn's column.
• We already crossed out "short" in Daniel's row, so cross it out in Annie's row, as well.
• Since Annie has to be right about one detail, it must be Heathcliff-the character's name.
• That means Bernard is wrong about the name, so cross out Sherlock.
• Since Bernard has to be right about one thing, we know the character is tall.

Heathcliff, the main character of the book, is tall, has short hair, and never wears an earring.

Source: Barnes and Noble,100 Games of Logicby Pierre Berloquin, p. 74

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