GeekDad Puzzle of the Week Solution: Halloween Kids Party Puzzle

Geek Culture

Hope that everyone is still feasting on remainder Halloween candy. Here is this past week’s puzzle as previously posted:

Nora, resplendent in her unicorn costume.

Kids’ Halloween parties are great this time of year, unless of course you don’t read the invite carefully and are the only adult in costume. In any case, my wife Allison and I took Max and Nora out to their unofficial class Halloween party today, and had a lot of fun watching the kids play and run around hopped up on sugar.

Based on the clues in this post, see if you can determine the costumes each child wore, how they rank in age, and how they rank in the amount of candy they scored during the party.

Here are some observations taken from the party:

  • Max, the astronaut, is the oldest student (and only boy) in his class, while Nora (pictured) is the youngest.
  • The oldest girl got the most candy, and has dark hair that was costume-appropriate.
  • Supergirl is younger than either other licensed character — Snow White or Tinkerbell.
  • Max got the least candy of all, and Nora got the second least.
  • Paryn is the second youngest, but got the second most candy.
  • Lucy’s ordinal position in amount of candy and age are the same.
  • Lily’s licensed character can’t fly, but got the most candy.
  • Tinkerbell is older than Paryn.

Apparently, there are two types of errors you can make when creating logic puzzles. The first is making them unsolvable, or “under-specifying” them. If you don’t give enough clues or give contradictory clues, people get grumpy. The second type of logic puzzle error is “over-specifying,” where you give extra clues that aren’t necessary. As long as they are consistent, the puzzle can still be solved, but it is a slightly wimpier puzzle.

That was the case with this past week’s puzzle; in my desire to make it solvable and posted on time, I over-specified it by not one, but apparently two clues. Many thanks to the many people that pointed it out.

Special thanks goes to Patricia Mango, the winner of this week’s $50 ThinkGeek gift certificate. Here is her winning solution, chosen at random from all correct solutions:

  • Max is the oldest, dressed as an astronaut, and got the least amount of candy.
  • Lily is second-oldest, dressed as Snow White, and got the most amount of candy.
  • Lucy is third-oldest, dressed as Tinkerbell, and got the third-most amount of candy.
  • Paryn is second-youngest, dressed as Supergirl, and got the second-most amount of candy.
  • Nora is the youngest, dressed as a unicorn, and got the second-least amount of candy.

For those of you who sent in a solution (or are just ThinkGeek shoppers) please feel free to use discount code GEEKDAD33NG for $10 off a ThinkGeek order of $50 or more. Thanks to all that posted a solution, and good luck with Garth’s upcoming brainteaser!

Liked it? Take a second to support GeekDad and GeekMom on Patreon!