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Chapter 4

Chapter 4

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10/15/2011

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Make an
assumption.

2722_KC_Johnson_Ch04 8/20/03 11:58 AM Page 88

because Ann’s space is the only space left for San Francisco. We already
know that Wendy is from either Charleston or Gainesville (clue 3:
Wendy is not from the West Coast). The matrix below shows all
of our original marks in blue and all of our new marks, based on our
assumptions, in light orange.

Now reread the clues to look for a contradiction. Clue 2 says that
Wendy and the woman from Provo are cousins. We assumed that
Riana is from Provo, which means that Wendy and Riana are cousins
(clue 2). But clue 1 says that Riana and the women from Charleston
and Gainesville are not related. Because Wendy is from either Charleston
or Gainesville (clue 3), clue 1 tells us that she should not be related
to Riana, but according to clue 2 Wendy and the woman from Provo
(who we assumed was Riana) are cousins. This contradiction arose
from our assumption, so our assumption that Riana is from Provo must
be false. Proving an assumption wrong is cause for celebration: Hooray!
Therefore, Riana is not from Provo. Knowing this allows us to mark off
the Riana-Provo space.

Now the matrix clearly shows that Riana is from San Francisco.
From this point on, we can simply mark spaces in the matrix to solve
the entire problem, as in the next matrix.

AnnPhyllisWendyRiana

SF

Gain

Chrl

Provo

NAMES

CITIES

X

3

X

3

X

1

X

1

X

2

X

4

X

4

X

AnnPhyllisWendyRiana

SF

Gain

Chrl

Provo

NAMES

CITIES

X

3

X

3

O

O

X

1

X

1

X

2

X

X

X

X

4

X

4

USE MATRIX LOGIC

89

Seek a contradiction.

A contradiction
eliminates a
possibility.

2722_KC_Johnson_Ch04 8/20/03 11:58 AM Page 89

At this point, be sure to recheck who is related to whom. The
women from Gainesville and Charleston are Wendy and Ann, and they
are unrelated to Riana. Wendy’s cousin is Phyllis (the woman from
Provo), so that connection works.
The substrategy of making an assumption can be very dangerous.
If your assumption does notresult in a contradiction, then it proves
nothing. Use this substrategy only as a last resort when you are
completely stuck on a problem and need to try something drastic.
First try the other substrategies in this chapter. You’ll be able to solve
most logic problems without making any assumptions.
Here’s a tip for when you do want to use this substrategy: Before
making an assumption, mark in pen every known connection in the
matrix. Then, from the point at which you make the assumption,
mark in light pencil all further connections. If you determine that the
assumption is wrong, that’s great. You can erase all your pencil marks,
and your earlier connections will still be marked in pen. We illustrated
this idea in the second matrix of the Coast to Coast problem by using
light and dark colors.

Many logic problems feature more people or categories than you’ve
seen so far in this chapter. For example, a problem may ask you to
match up first names, last names, cities, and jobs. As with problems
that include fewer categories, your first step in solving such a problem
would be to determine how many matrices to combine into your final
matrix. A diagram like the one you used for the Outdoor Barbecue
problem can help.

AnnPhyllisWendyRiana

SF

Gain

Chrl

Provo

NAMES

CITIES

X

3

X

3

X

1

X

1

X

2

X

4

X

4

X

X

X

O

X

O

X

O

O

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