Mental Floss

Brain Game: This Class Stinks


It's a new semester at Wossamatta U. Only five people signed up for Dr. Johnson's remedial personal hygiene class, but as it turned out, they became the most attentive students in the school. Why? Because the Doc advised them on the first day of class that he had five grades to give - an A, a B, a C, a D, and an E - and that each would be awarded to only one student. The A was the best, and the E was failing, and each letter between was one grade level difference. So someone would score an A, no matter how poorly they all did in class. But someone would also fail, no matter how well they did.

The college quintet consisted of three young men - Cam, Ham, and Sam - and two sorority sisters, Pam and Tam.

Based on the following clues, and with the knowledge that each grade level is exactly one step better than the next, can you determine which student scored which grade? Good luck!

1. None of the boys' grades was exactly two levels better than either of the girls' grades. 2. Pam's grade was better than Sam's, whose grade was better than Cam's. 3. Between them, the girls had a C average.

Here is the SOLUTION.


Ham scored the A, followed by Pam with the B, Sam with the C, Tam with the D, and Cam failed with the E.

One possible logic sequence:

Clue #1: Skip for now.

Clue #2: Cam A or B, Sam A or F, and Pam D or E.

Clue #3: Either Pam = A and Tam = E, or Pam = B and Tam = D.

But Tam = E does not work, since (refer to Clue 1) that would mean that no boy scored the C, and one of them had to.

So Pam = B and Tam = D, forcing Ham = A, which forces Cam = E and then Sam = C.