Here is an interesting problem to play with in your down time. I will post the solution soon, when I get a moment to update this blog.
There are five houses in a row, each of a different color, that are inhabited by five people of different nationalities, with different pets, favorite drinks, and favorite sports. Use the clues below to determine who owns the monkey and who drinks water. You may use the chart format to develop your answer.
a. The Englishman lives in the red house.
b. The Spaniard owns the dog.
c. Coffee is drunk in the green house.
d. The Russian drinks tea.
e. The green house is immediately to the right of the white house.
f. The hockey player owns hamsters.
g. The football player lives in the yellow house.
h. Milk is drunk in the middle house.
i. The American lives in the first house on the left.
j. The table tennis player lives in the house next to the man with the fox.
k. The football player lives next to the house where the horse is kept.
l. The basketball player drinks orange juice.
m. The Japanese resident likes baseball.
n. The American lives next to the blue house.
SOLUTION [posted 12/12/2013]:
(i) Create puzzle pieces in excel based on the positional constraints suggested by the associations. If you start with the Colors (Yellow) and the Positions of the American (Left of Blue, 1st House on Left), it starts to fix a number of other things in the problem as you go.
(ii) Move/fit the puzzle pieces together in such a way that there are no squares empty.
So, the American drinks water and the Japanese person has the monkey.