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Solution to Puzzle L-11.  CAFETERIA

Alan, Beth, Cathy, and David went to the cafeteria to have lunch. Aside from a main dish, each of them ordered two side dishes. These side dishes that have ordered by them were mashed potatoes, baked beans, garden salad, and rice.

To solve this puzzle, create a table below with Y representing side dishes chosen, and X representing side dishes not chosen.

 mashed potatoes baked beans garden salad rice Alan Y Beth Y Cathy Y David Y

Since Alan and Beth had no side dish in common, while Cathy and David had no side dish in common, we have

 mashed potatoes baked beans garden salad rice Alan Y X Beth X Y Cathy Y X David X Y

Dave did not ordered baked beans, therefore he also ordered mashed potatoes.

 mashed potatoes baked beans garden salad rice Alan Y X Beth X Y Cathy Y X David X X Y

Therefore David also ordered mashed potatoes.  Since Cathy and David had no side dish in common,  Cathy ordered bake beans but did not order mashed potatoes

 mashed potatoes baked beans garden salad rice Alan Y X Beth X Y Cathy X Y Y X David Y X X Y

Beth and Cathy had one side dish in common.  Therefore Beth must have ordered rice.  Since Alan and Beth had no side dish in common, Alan ordered rice.

 mashed potatoes baked beans garden salad rice Alan Y X Y X Beth X Y X Y Cathy X Y Y X David Y X X Y

Therefore,

Beth had baked beans and rice,

David had mashed potatoes and rice.

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Bits and Beyond ...

Mistakes are at the very base of human thought, embedded there, feeding the structure like root nodules. If we were not provided with the knack for being wrong, we could never get anything useful done.  We think our way along by choosing between right and wrong alternatives, and the wrong choices have to be made as often as the right ones. We get along in life this way.

Lewis Thomas

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