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The following is a puzzle from "101 Puzzles in Thought and Logic" By C R Wylie, Jr.

Jane, Janice, Jack ,Jasper and Jim are the names of five high schools chums. Their last names in one order or another are Carter, Carver, Clark, Clayton and Cramer.

Jasper's mother is dead.

In deference to a certain very wealthy aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Clayton agreed when they were first married that if they ever had a daughter they would name her Janice.

Jane's father and mother have never met Jack's parents.

The Cramer and Carter children have been teammates on several of the school's athletic teams.

When he heard that Carver was going to be out of town on the night of the school's Father and Son banquet, Cramer called Mrs. Carver and offered to "adopt" her son for the evening, but Jack's father had already asked him to go.

The Clarks and Carters, who are very good friends were delighted when their children began dating each other.

What is the full name of each youngster?

I tried but I feel like their isn't enough infromation.

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1 Answer 1

The problem is solvable, but you do have to make several assumptions:

  • If person A dates person B, then A and B are opposite gender
  • There are no mixed gender sports.
  • Agreements are always kept.
  • No one got divorced.

Given the publication date of the book, these are probably reasonable assumptions to make given the biases and presumptions of that time.

Here's the order in which I was able to work out details:

  1. Jane and Jack cannot both be a Carter and a Clark
  2. You can determine that Jack is neither a Carver nor a Cramer
  3. You can determine that there is a Mrs. Carver and Mrs. Clayton, so Jim has to be a Carver.
  4. Suppose that Janice were a Clayton. Then you'll get a contradiction.

At that point everything falls into place.

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