This is an explanation of the first logic game from Section IV of LSAT Preptest 34, the June 2001 LSAT.
Six clerks are responsible for stocking nine aisles of a supermarket. The six clerks are Jill, Kurt, Larisa, Manny, and Olga (J, K, L, M, O). You need to assign clerks to aisles based on the rules.
This is a linear game. There’s nothing particularly devious about it, but there are a lot of rules to keep track of. Make sure to have them all clear in your head before moving on to the questions: it will pay off.
We can arrange this with the regular setup of horizontal slots (drawn below, except there are nine instead of seven. It’s important to note that each clerk can only go twice, at most. That means that four clerks will go twice and one (Olga, first rule) will go once.
There’s no single best way to represent the first rule. I prefer to simply memorize it. You can draw something like this if it helps you:
(That’s the letter O, not a zero, in case I offended any mathematicians)
You could also make a list of variables, as follows: JJ, MM, KK, LL, O
The method doesn’t really matter, as long as it achieves the goal: don’t let yourself forget that O only appears once.
Rules 2 and 3
You should draw the next two rules directly onto your diagram. There’s no chance of forgetting that way. Kurt is placed second, and you can draw M with a line through it underneath the first slot to show that Manny can’t go there.
J can’t go beside itself. You can draw this as a box with a line through it.
(Also: This should tip you off that other variables can go beside themselves, in case you weren’t sure)
This is the kind of rule I like: it helps pin down variables. You already knew one K has to go in the second slot. Now you know the second K is wedged in between both Mannys. That takes out two variables at once.
Here’s how you can draw this rule. The box indicates the three variables have to be beside each other, in that order:
We know that this MKM bloc can’t go in slots 1-3 because M can’t go in slot one.
This is another great rule type. It split the game into two scenarios: one where Larissa is on the left and one where Larissa is on the right. If a game is split into two scenarios, you should almost always draw both. Usually that lets you make additional deductions, and it always helps you visualize the game and draw local rules.
In this game, the two scenarios don’t add as much as they usually do, but they’re still useful.
Another good rule. Olga has to come after Kurt. We can combine this with rule five to see that Olga also has to come after Manny.
As long as there is at least one L after O, everything’s fine.
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