Original from July 21st, 2014

In order to demonstrate that teamwork is not a waste of time, nor a torture technique designed to hold back top students, Dr. Haidet presented the class of 150 medical students with the task of solving Einstein’s Riddle. According to Einstein, only 2% of the world’s population would be able to solve the puzzle.

When Dr. Haidet first saw the riddle 15 years ago, he spent 3 and a half hours arriving at his conclusion.

When our class divided into groups of 8, the first group solved the riddle from scratch in fifteen minutes. (Unfortunately, I was not a member of this group.)

I am so glad that Penn State College of Medicine emphasizes teamwork over competition – that also means Pass/No Pass classes for the first two years!

If you must satiate your curiosity, here is Einstein’s Riddle:


There are 5 houses that are each a different colour.

There is a person of a different nationality in each house.

The 5 owners drink a certain drink. They each smoke a certain brand of cigarettes and also have a certain pet. No owner has the same pet, smokes the same brand of cigarettes nor drinks the same drink.

The question is. “Who has the fish?



1. The British man lives in the red house.

2. The Swedish man has a dog for a pet.

3. The Danish man drinks tea.

4. The green house is to the left of the white house.

5. The owner of the green house drinks coffee.

6. The person that smokes Pall Mall has a bird.

7. The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.

8. The person that lives in the middle house drinks milk.

9. The Norwegian lives in the first house.

10. The person that smokes Blend, lives next to the one that has a cat.

11. The person that has a horse lives next to the one that smokes Dunhill.

12. The one that smokes Bluemaster drinks beer.

13. The German smokes Prince.

14. The Norwegian lives next to a blue house.

15. The person that smokes Blend, has a neighbour that drinks water.


If you give up, you can find a step-by-step solution here: http://udel.edu/~os/riddle-solution.html