Mental Floss

Brain Game: Relish? Gusto? Enthusiasm?


I received several (kind) favorable comments to our last logic game, so I decided to try my hand at another. This time, instead of the Monkees, it's I Love Lucy. The diagram below shows the table at which Ricky & Lucy Ricardo and best friends Fred & Ethel Mertz enjoyed a nice New York meal. Can you figure out who ate what dish?


lucysdinner.gif /


NOTE:  I spent way too long working on this puzzle last night, and could not conclude whether clue #4 was necessary with the existence of clue #2. I decided it wasn't, but many Brain Gamers pointed out in the early comments that I was wrong. Anyway, the puzzle is now ready to go, with only one possible answer. And here are your FOUR CLUES: 1. Ricky got a tomato sauce stain on his necktie. 2. Everyone sat next to his/her spouse and his/her best friend. 3. Fred ordered a dish that began with the letter "P." 4. Ethel is sitting at Lucy's left-hand side.

HERE's the answer!

ANSWER: Ricky ate the spaghetti, Lucy the pizza, Ethel the steak, and Fred the pork chops. Here's the logic:

1. When Ricky got tomato sauce on his tie, so he ate either the pizza or the spaghetti. He couldn't have eaten the pizza, since Fred then would have eaten the pork chop, which would throw the seating off (since we know that each person sat next to his/her best friend). So Ricky at the spaghetti.

2. If Fred had eaten the pizza, since his best friend (Ricky) was on his right side, Ethel (his wife) would have to be on his left. That wouldn't work, since we know Ethel was sitting to the left of Lucy, not to the left of Fred. So Fred must have eaten the pork chop.

3. That leaves the pizza and steak, and since we know Ethel sat to Lucy's left, Ethel had the steak, and Lucy had the pizza.