Time on first attempt: 3:37
See “repeating games” at bottom of section
This is a linear game, and one of the easiest ones I’ve seen in a while. If you had trouble with this, don’t worry – by learning standard techniques you can come to easily mastery this type of game.
It has a five slot structure like this:
Note that I don’t include the letters myself when drawing – it’s faster to leave them off, and when you do many linear games you can just sort of recognize which spot is Monday, Wednesday etc. But, I include the letters on my diagrams here for easy reference.
The first rule can be drawn directly on the diagram:
I’ve drawn “not H” under Friday, but also drawn H floating above the right of the diagram. This is a reminder that H must be in somewhere. If possible, it’s always best to draw rules directly on the diagram like this – that makes them much harder to forget.
You can also draw the final rule in the same style:
This reversible box means that N and S can’t be beside each other, in either order. Placing it beside the H indicates that both N and S have to be in.
I sometimes deal with rules out of order like this – I will typically first draw those rules that are easiest to draw, or those that are most like other rules.
Rule 2 tells us that if O is in, then O must be right before H. So we need one space for H, after O. That means OH can’t be in fourth and fifth. We can turn this into a not rule on the diagram:
You should also draw the rule separately like this:
That means that if O is in, it is directly before H.
The third rule says that if L is in, it’s on Wednesday. You can draw that either by placing a not rule on every other day, or drawing the rule directly. I prefer to do the latter:
- Fix paragraph above
- Edit L3 to LW in each diagram
- Reexport, and reorder
I find putting in four not rules for that clutters the diagram. Note though that this is a matter of preference. If you find yourself forgetting this rule, then not rules are better.
Note also that spot 5 already has two not rules. So, by adding “not L”, we can see that three variables can’t go Friday. That leaves only N, P and S. This is important to remember in case a question adds further restrictions.
Personally, I can just sort of remember “Friday is crowded, pay attention to it”. If that isn’t something you can do easily, however, it is better to draw a “not L” there.
Finally, you note that P is random, and therefore easy to place. The best way to note this is with a circle around it:
Note that there are five places, and six variables. That means that if one variable is out, then all the others are in. This is significant, because two of the variables have rules which only apply if those variables are in (O and L). If another variable is out, then the rules for those two variables do apply.
I’ve written elsewhere about the benefits of repeating games, to solidify your intuition for deductions. Note that the purpose of repeating games is to prove the answers right, so it doesn’t matter if you remember the right answer.
I repeated this game about three days after I first saw it, by which time I had forgotten the answers. I’ve written how long it took me on the second attempt. That time, or a couple minutes above it, is roughly the standard you should be aspiring to – a lot of people take 8-9 minutes on a repeat attempt, get everything right, and pat themselves on the back. But that’s too slow. The faster you go when repeating, the faster you’ll learn to go the first time you see a game.
(I say “a couple minutes above” my time because, after years of teaching the LSAT, I’m really, really fast. You should be almost as fast as me, but you don’t exactly need to match my pace to score -0.)
Time on second attempt:
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