Ryan showed his friend Aditya the six labeled jars in a two-row rack in the kitchen and explained,
“I will go out of the kitchen now and you have to empty and refill each jar so that each of the labels will wrongly represent the contents of the jar. When you are ready, tell me. I will ask you two questions and you will answer truthfully. I will tell you then which jar has Pepper.”
"You cannot just answer—it is in the jar labeled so and so or tell me its exact position."
After a while, Aditya called his friend, "Ryan, I am ready."
Ryan looked at the jars carefully.
Then he asked the first question,
"Where is the Turmeric?"
Aditya thought a moment and replied,
"Turmeric is under the jar containing Chillies."
Now Ryan asked,
"Where is Cumin?"
"Next to the jar containing Salt on its right."
With no hesitation, Ryan reached for the actual jar of Pepper.
Recommended time for you to solve: 10 minutes.
Solution to the six wrong labeled jars logic puzzle
I will use my basic pragmatic reasoning right from the start.
What is my goal? I ask myself. At first I thought,
My goal should be to identify contents of 5 jars and know that the sixth jar has Pepper.
Then I remember, each jar is wrongly labeled. So Pepper labeled jar cannot have Pepper. It means, I have to identify contents of four jars, not 5. This makes the solution easier.
Consequence of answer to first question: Solution to six wrong labeled jars logic puzzle
The first answer was,
Turmeric is under the jar containing Chillies.
By this answer, a vertical two-position bonded couple of jars is formed.
Chillies jar is above the Turmeric jar, but that
Eliminates rightmost column with labels Turmeric below Cumin as Turmeric cannot be in the jar with label Turmeric; the two positions in the rightmost column are dropped from analysis for placing the Turmeric below Chillies couple of jars.
The four positions of first two columns from left can only accommodate Turmeric below Chillies couple of jars.
The two possibilities are shown in the figure. The third column positions are invalid in this case.
img src="/sites/default/files/u2/positions-of-turmeric-below-chillies.jpg" alt="Possible positions of turmeric below chillies" width="400" height="378" />
Consequence of second answer: Solution to six wrong labeled jars logic puzzle
The second answer was,
Cumin next to the jar containing Salt on its right.
The first conclusion by the second answer is straightforward,
Conclusion 1: By the positions of labeled jars of Cumin and Salt both on top row, jars containing the two cannot be on the top row. This implies—the horizontally bonded couple Cumin next to the jar containing Salt on its right must be in the bottom row.
But I already know that Turmeric occupies either first or the second position from left in the bottom row. If both the positions are blocked by the horizontally bonded content couple of Cumin next to the right of Salt,
Turmeric jar can't have a valid position in the rack. This is a conflict.
The conflict between the two bonded couples is shown in the figure.
The only possibility that satisfy both these conditions,
Conclusion 2: Cumin next to Salt on its right pair of jars occupy the third and second positions from left in the bottom row. Turmeric below Chillies pair occupy the first position in the bottom row and first position in the top row.
Contents of four jars are now known, as shown in the figure. Labels for contents discovered are without question mark.
Final solution to the six wrong labeled jars logic puzzle
The yet-to-be-identified contents in the rack are in the second and third positions from left in the top row.
The jar with label Sugar is in the middle position of the top row.
So the jar containing Sugar must be in the 3rd position from left with PEPPER in the middle position of the top row.
The final solution with all labels correctly showing the contents is in the figure.
Solution is obtained by analysis of positional conflict and identifying contents of four jars as I thought.
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