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Category/Line Solving Method

The category/line method is one approach to solving a logic problem. Here is a problem with a solution using that method. Click here to make a duplicate of this window for viewing the problem as you walk through the solution.

The First Cookout of the Summer

Last weekend, with the onset of warm weather, five friends who live at Timberland Apartments got together for their first cookout of the summer of 2000. Each brought a different grilling and a different side dish favorite to share with the others and their guests. From the clues that follow, you should be able to decide who brought what to the "barbie."

1. Ben, the person who brought the foot-long hot dogs, and the one who made the baked beans all three live at 3165 New Country Road.
2. Alexis brought sausage from her family's farm in Pennsylvania.
3. Neither Carol nor David is the friend who put together a vegetable platter for the cookout.
4. The person who brought the hot dogs didn't also bring the cole slaw or the pickled eggs.
5. The friend who brought the shrimp for the "barbie" didn't bring the baked beans or pickled eggs.
6. Neither Ben nor Erica furnished the cole slaw.
7. Carol enjoyed the ribeye steak that one of the others brought.
8. Erica didn't bring the hot dogs or hamburgers.
9. Carol got the recipe for the macaroni salad from the person who brought it: "Go to the Hickory Ridge Shopping Center, go into Mo's Deli, go up to the counter ..."
10. The person who furnished the ribeye steaks didn't bring the pickled eggs to the cookout.
11. Erica isn't the one who made the baked beans.

Solution:

There are 3 categories with 5 lines (possibilities) for each:
 NAME MEAT SIDE _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________

By clue 1, three of the cookout friends are Ben, the person who brought the hot dogs, and the one who made the baked beans. So three of the lines are filled in:
 Ben _________ _________ _________ hot dogs _________ _________ _________ baked beans _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________

The person who brought the cole slaw isn't the one who brought the hot dogs (4) or Ben (6). So the cole slaw can't go on a line with those two and can't be on the baked beans line and is thus on the fourth:
 Ben _________ _________ _________ hot dogs _________ _________ _________ baked beans _________ _________ cole slaw _________ _________ _________

Erica didn't bring the cole slaw (6), hot dogs (8), or baked beans (11); she can't go with any of those on a line nor with Ben and is the fifth cookout friend:
 Ben _________ _________ _________ hot dogs _________ _________ _________ baked beans _________ _________ cole slaw Erica _________ _________

Since Alexis brought the farm sausage (2), either Carol or David supplied the hot dogs. Then the hot dogs didn't come with the vegetable platter (3). The person who brought the hot dogs also didn't make the pickled eggs (4). The hot dog person brought the macaroni salad:
 Ben _________ _________ _________ hot dogs macaroni salad _________ _________ baked beans _________ _________ cole slaw Erica _________ _________

Carol didn't bring the macaroni salad (9) with the hot dogs, so David did.
 Ben _________ _________ David hot dogs macaroni salad _________ _________ baked beans _________ _________ cole slaw Erica _________ _________

Since Alexis brought sausage (2) with either baked beans or cole slaw, the sausage didn't come with pickled eggs; nor did the shrimp (5) or ribeye steaks (10). The pickled eggs were brought with the hamburgers--by Ben rather than Erica (8).
 Ben hamburger pickled eggs David hot dogs macaroni salad _________ _________ baked beans _________ _________ cole slaw Erica _________ _________

Erica brought the vegetable platter by elimination.
 Ben hamburger pickled eggs David hot dogs macaroni salad _________ _________ baked beans _________ _________ cole slaw Erica _________ vegetable platter

Since Alexis brought the sausage (2), Carol or Erica brought the steaks. Carol didn't bring the steaks (7), Erica did.
 Ben hamburger pickled eggs David hot dogs macaroni salad _________ _________ baked beans _________ _________ cole slaw Erica steaks vegetable platter

Carol brought shrimp, with cole slaw (5).
 Ben hamburger pickled eggs David hot dogs macaroni salad _________ _________ baked beans Carol shrimp cole slaw Erica steaks vegetable platter

Alexis accompanied her sausage with baked beans.
 Ben hamburger pickled eggs David hot dogs macaroni salad Alexis sausage baked beans Carol shrimp cole slaw Erica steaks vegetable platter

The five friends supplied the first cookout of the summer with

Alexis, sausage & baked beans
Ben, hamburgers & pickled eggs
Carol, shrimp & cole slaw
David, hot dogs & macaroni salad
Erica, ribeye steaks & vegetable platter