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Big Game Hunting Riddle: How many animals were bagged?

Big Game Hunting Riddle

Four hunters bagged four animals each with a point score. Total 18 points scored and you are given clues to find number of animals bagged. Time 15 mins.

The Big Game Hunting Riddle: How many animals were bagged?

Lady Hyena wrote in a letter on their hunting expedition,

“We had a big game shoot yesterday. The other three guns were Lord Giraffe, Mr. Gnu, and Rear-Admiral Lion. Our bag included Lion, Giraffe, Gnu and Hyena. To give the day a competitive interest, we awarded so many points for each lion bagged, so many for each Giraffe and so on. They ranked in descending order as above. It was difficult deciding what points to give for a lion. No one except Mr. Gnu has so far bagged a single one! Eighteen points in all were scored. I scored the fewest though I bagged most beasts! The Admiral and I between us scored the same total of points as the other two. Among us, we bagged three Gnu.”

How many beasts in all were shot by their namesakes?

Time to solve: 20 minutes.

Source: Famous puzzler of olden times Hubert Phillips (“Caliban”).

Solution to the Big Game Hunting Riddle: How many animals were bagged?

As each of the four types of animals was bagged and the point scores of the four types of animals were in descending order with low total score of 18, let us assume a possible point score combination for the four types of animals as 1, 3, 4, 5.

But score for 3 Gnu is 9 and the total score becomes 19 even if each of the rest three types of animals was bagged only once.

Conclusion 1: Gnu point score cannot be 3—Gnu point score is 2 and Hyena point score is 1.

Conclusion 2: Total Point score for 3 Gnu bagged is 6. Rest 12 are to be distributed among three other types of animals.

Think of how 3 Gnu are bagged with a point score of 6, when Lady Hyena scored the fewest though she bagged most beasts.

Analysis and Conclusion 3: The 3 Gnu cannot be bagged by a single person. If it were so, 4 Hyenas (3 Gnu by Lady Hyena will make her score too large) have to be bagged by Lady Hyena.

This makes the point scores for Giraffe and Lion 3 and 5 bagged one each by rest two hunters. Gnu point score 6 and point score for 4 Hyenas 4. So point score for one each of rest two animals 3 + 5 = 8, making the total 18.

But if it were so, the score of Lady Hyena exceeds the score of another hunter with score 3—a violation of the condition of least score by Lady Hyena.

Verify the critical conclusion.

It follows,

Conclusion 4: The number of animals bagged by Lady Hyena must be 3 Hyenas, the highest, with a total point score 3.

Analyze how the two pairs of hunters each can make a total score of 9.

Conclusion 5: As the total score of Lady Hyena and Rear-Admiral Lion is the same as the total score of Lord Giraffe and Mr. Gnu, each of the totals must be 9 as well as the score of Rear-Admiral Lion 6.

Conclusion 6: Score for 2 Gnu bagged by Lord Giraffe 4 and score for 1 Lion bagged by Mr. Gnu 5the only possible combination for the total score of Mr. Gnu and Lord Giraffe to be 9.

So the scores of the four hunters must be,

3: Lady Hyena < 4: Lord Giraffe < 5: Mr. Gnu < 6: Rear-Admiral Lion.

Rear-Admiral Lion didn’t shoot the Lion which was shot by Mr. Gnu. Point score of Lion is 5.

Final conclusion: Animals bagged: 3 Hyenas by Lady Hyena with a score of 3 x 1=3, 2 Gnu by Lord Giraffe with score of 2 x 2 = 4, 1 Lion by Mr. Gnu with score 1 x 5 = 5 and 1 Gnu and 1 Giraffe by Rear-Admiral Lion with point score: 2 + 4 = 6.

Condition satisfaction: Number of animals bagged by the four hunters

Lady Hyena: 3 > Rear- Admiral Lion: 1 + 1 = 2, Lord Giraffe: 2 x 1 = 2, Mr. Gnu: 1. Condition of Lady Hyena bagging highest number of animals satisfied.

Condition satisfaction: Point scores of the four hunters

Lady Hyena: 3 x 1 = 3 < Lord Giraffe: 2 x 2 = 4 < Mr. Gnu: 1 x 5 = 5 < Rear-Admiral Lion: 2 + 4 = 6. Condition of Lady Hyena’s least score is satisfied.

Condition satisfaction: Point scores for animals

Hyena 1 < Gnu 2 < Giraffe 4 < Lion 5. The point scores are in decreasing order of Lion, Giraffe, Gnu and Hyena. Condition satisfied.

Answer: Total Number of animals bagged,

3 Hyenas + 3 Gnu + 1 Giraffe + 1 Lion = 8.

End note

Step-by-step logic analysis of the clues should give you a quick and easy solution of this reasoning puzzle of a riddle.


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