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Reasoning puzzles are a favourite question type in all aptitude examinations. In the scheme of chapters on reasoning contained in this book, we have created separate chapters for specific kinds of puzzles which are often asked (like arrangements, rankings, etc., which constituted the chapters prior to this one).
All other categories of puzzles—which cannot be specifically categorised as any of the foregoing chapters—you will get to see and practice in this chapter.
As the name suggests, questions on puzzles challenge you to match multiple factors (like name, colour of shirt, place of living, car model driven, etc.).The key skills involved in solving questions on puzzles include but are not limited to:
(i) The ability to make a relevant tabular structure for using the clues seamlessly: For example, suppose you have 5 people A, B, C, D, E wearing 5 colour of shirts red, yellow, green, blue and white drinking 5 kinds of soft drinks Coke, Pepsi, Mirinda, Thums Up and Seven Up—the solution table structure would look like this:
In the table, you can see clearly that there is a direct correlation structure between each of the three ‘variables’ in the problem. More of this you would get to see and experience as you move through the solved illustrations and the exercises that follow it.
(ii) The ability to order the clues in the correct order of usage (as explained in the theory of logical reasoning): This includes the ability to perceive the direct clues and use them first to set up the ‘framework’ of problem solving.
(iii)The ability to perceive what indirect clues are talking about — and how to use them;
(iv) The ability to convert clues written in language form into visual cues so that you do not need to read the text again and again. Also, converting the language clues to visual clues is critical for the purpose of being able to ‘see’ all the clues at one go.
Illustrated below are the solutions to a few typical questions on puzzles. We would advise you to first have a look at the questions and try to solve the same on your own before looking at the step-by-step process of solving the same.
Example. At a fancy dress party people were asked to dress as an object that represented their professions. Mr. Abhijit, Mrs. Banerjee, Mrs. Chatterjee, Mr. Dipanjan De and Mr. Elangovan were among the guests. The costumes included a leaf, a pen, a fork, a camera reel, and a stethoscope. The professions included a photographer, a gardener, a compounder, a teacher, and a cook.
(i) Which person is dressed as a stethoscope?
(ii) What is Elangovan’s profession?
Putting the direct Clues 1 and 4 in the table we get:
At this point if we use Clue 2, it is evident that it must be Elangovan who is dressed as a fork. Also using clue 5 (Mrs. Chatterjee is a gardener) completes the solution.
Obviously, Mrs. Banerjee would be the compounder.
The solutions are: 1. Banerjee Option (b)
2. Elangovan is the cook. Option (a) is correct.