Some Math for the Fourth of July

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In browsing around for Math and Independence Day, I ran across the following puzzle on Ask Dr. Math. The connection with holidays is indirect, but the puzzle itself was fun to do and took me a while to figure out.

Five female-male couples (the Aston, the Barlers, the Cauchys, the Dicks, the Egglers) get together five times a year (Halloween, Independence Day, New Year’s Eve, St. Patricks Day, Valentine’s Day) for a party. Each couple hosts one of the parties at their home (on Palmer, Quinton, Rawlins, Stoddard, Talbot) and serves a different drink (coffee, fruit juice, iced tea, lemonade, punch). The wives’ first names are Freda, Ginny, Helene, Ilene, and Julia. The husbands’ first names are Kermit, Leon, Morton, Norbert, and Orville. The party decorations, food, and costumes are appropriate for each party.

Read the clues below and match everything up.

  1. Mrs. Barler, Julia, and Ilene all shop at the same supermarket.
  2. Everyone dressed in green for the party on Quinton.
  3. Norbert and his wife picked up the Egglers and the couple that served lemonade on their way to the Aston’s party.
  4. Helene and Freda both ask Mrs. Dick for the recipe for the frosting on the heart-shaped cake she served at her party.
  5. The couple on Stoddard decorated with pumpkins and served iced tea at their party.
  6. Orville told Mr. Eggler he should color the drink green at the Eggler’s party, but Mr. Eggler said his wife thinks it would look unappetizing.
  7. Ginny’s husband made the coffee for their party while Ginny was on the phone with Mrs. Cauchy.
  8. Leon, Norbert, and Mr. Barler are all on the school board.
  9. The couple on Palmer always look forward to going to the New Year’s Eve and Independence Day parties because they like to make noise and stay up late.
  10. Orville and his wife had a hard time finding confetti and noisemakers for their last party because they waited too long to go shopping.
  11. The Rawlins couple were thinking about moving out of the city, but Orville and the Barlers talked them out of it.
  12. Neither Helene nor Kermit lives on Stoddard.
  13. The Saint Patrick’s Day party is not held at either of Kermit’s or Helene’s houses.
  14. The Cauchys and the couple on Talbot sometimes have dinner together at a restaurant.
  15. Helene does not live on Rawlins, and neither does Ilene.
  16. Ginny is not married to Leon.
  17. Fruit juice is not served at Orville’s party.

For some hints, see the original post on Ask Dr. Math.

(This puzzle reminds me of Who Owns the Fish?, which I got by email years ago and have used successfully in classes many times.)

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One Response to “Some Math for the Fourth of July”

  1. Denise Says:

    My daughter and I love these kinds of puzzles, so I’m printing out two copies right now. Thanks for sharing!

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