Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Suman Reunion

Dave just arrived home from a couple of days in his home province, so he and his four friends had to get together for a small reunion. For the event itself, Dave brought along something that they could all share: some of the best suman from his side of the world, forty-four pieces all in all.

The five of them met on a Saturday night, which meant that they were all rested up from their separate day jobs and ready to cut loose. The lawyer, for one, arrived wearing a green t-shirt, which got everyone remarking on how casual their meeting was. Rei wore a semi-formal blue dress for the evening, and the person wearing red got a lot of good-natured ribbing from the others on his choice of color.

There was a little discussion about their jobs at first. "I'm a programmer," Dave said as he ate, "and I'm content to stay where I am."

"You really need to aim higher, Dave," the manager said.

Dave's forty-four pieces of suman were all gone by the time the five friends finished their three-hour reunion. By then, everyone was stuffed - they had each eaten more than three pieces.

"I had two less pieces of suman than you did, right?" Celia asked the teacher.

"Yeah," said the person in the orange shirt, "but you had two more pieces than me."

Celia nodded. She hadn't eaten that much suman in one sitting before.

"Joe ate four times the the number of suman I ate," the person in the white shirt said. "He must be really hungry."

"Well, Sam only had six pieces," Dave said. "I was watching him."

Everyone was, of course, aware that the graphic artist among them had eaten the most pieces of suman. They had a good laugh over that.

The party broke up afterwards, as a number of people were looking to wake up early the next morning. They all noted that no two people had the same number of suman that evening, and that no one shared any single piece.


Yes, this is a puzzle, although there are no bragging rights or prizes associated with this one. I've actually adapted it from an existing logic puzzle, and I'm curious to see if it turns out to be more simple or more difficult than its source.

It might be interesting to identify a group of guidelines for logic puzzles in general. For instance, is there a minimum level of information that can be given to a reader yet still allow the puzzle to remain solveable? Does a solver derive more satisfaction from figuring out the entire setup, or should he only have to answer a single question? How complex can a logic puzzle be made without the reader losing interest and giving up?

While there are a lot of logic puzzles out there (heck, there are whole books on them), such guidelines might be worth considering when putting together an new breed of these stumpers. What if you had, say, a visual logic puzzle? Or a mental maze? Hmmm.

I'll have this on the back burner for the meantime, though. For now, I'll leave you with the scenario as given above. Who ate how many pieces of suman, wore which color clothes, and had which job?

The other suman post
The other other suman post
The other other other suman post
The other other other other suman post


Dominique said...

As always, very creative, Sean.

kat said...

That's two Wednesdays past for me. Sheesh.

I like this one. ^_^

Anton said...

psssst, you missed my post, i had one up too.

Sean said...

Sorry, everybody. Been lots busy. :)