GeekDad Puzzle of the Week: Thanksgiving Defies Logic

Hacking the Holidays

Turkey (vulture). Flickr: Adkorte

This week my wife made a new Pandora station. It seems seeded on Donald Duck and a too-cute Minnie Mouse warbling something about the joy of Santa Claus and/or buying battery powered things that break easily. (Don’t tell Mickey.) Basically it makes me want to kick puppies. And I really, really like puppies. All of which means it must be nearly Thanksgiving. This is terrifying for many reasons, including but not limited to the fact that we’re hosting a friends and family jamboree and exacerbated by the fact that we live in Boulder, Colorado. The first necessitates quantity and the second means that various attendees are likely to be gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, sugar free, and with various forms of nut, lactose, and shellfish allergies. (Apparently, though, no one respects the depth and severity of my Disney Christmas carol allergy.)

Until there is a recipe app that cross-references the needs of our many diners, we’ll have to do it the old fashioned way: by feeding everyone everything and then noting which guests head for the emergency room. Okay, I’ve been overruled. Instead, we’ll use logic. Here are clues that will allow us to discover who can eat what. Let us assume, though it’s certainly not true in practice, that each person is only insensitive to one ingredient and that each food is without only one ingredient.

Match Joe, Kristi, Zoe, Leif and Cameron with turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, yams, and stuffing, with gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, nut-free, and sugar-free.

1. The turkey is vegetarian. Don’t ask how. Happy Thanksgiving. Gobble gobble.

2. Kristi, the traitor, has discovered (decided?) as an adult that she is gluten intolerant.

3. Neither Joe nor Zoe is vegetarian.

4. Cameron ate dairy-free cranberry sauce. There is a good chance that even this will disagree with him, but what’cha gonna do?

5. Zoe has no problem with sugar and, dude, the yams are full of it. The yams also have nuts. And Zoe doesn’t eat stuffing.

Submit your solution to GeekDad Central by end of day Friday for your chance at this week’s $50 ThinkGeek Gift Certificate!


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