Tuesday, September 22, 2015

# Critical Thinking Challenge: A Market Day

I love logic challenges for kids and adults that don’t require advanced computational skills but test our abilities of problem solving and logical thinking. This is a great example of such a challenge.

## Developing Logical Thinking

When we met earlier this year with Smarty’s fourth grade teacher, we discussed the fact that she can easily do 4th grade math and requires something else to challenge her during math time. Her teacher said that she would give it some thought, and so far she rose brilliantly to the task of keeping Smarty and 3 other mathematically gifted students in her grade productively busy. I mentioned in my Week In Review update that Smarty and her friends are working on this problem for several days now, and several people have asked me to share a problem, so I decided to do just that. Unfortunately, I don’t know where it originally came from, so I can’t credit its author.

## Market Day Challenge

A farmer is bringing fruits and vegetables to the market, and it puts them in the basket arranged as shown in the picture above. Decide what is in each bucket using the clues below:
1. Place the apple in the bottom left basket.
2. The broccoli and the bananas are in the same row.
3. The pear is not in the same row or column as the apple.
4. No vegetables are in the third column.
5. The banana is in the same row as the pear and the same column as the apple.
6. Place the orange in a basket between the banana and the pear.
7. The apricot is in one of the first two columns.
8. The carrots are in the same column as the broccoli.
9. In the pear’s column is the basket with the grapes.
10. No fruits are in the first row.
11. The grapes are in the same row as the apple and the carrots.
12. The beans are in the column before the pears.
13. Corn and celery share the same row as the beans.
14. The strawberries are not in the same two rows.
15. The celery is in a column after the corn.
16. In the grapes row is the tomato.
17. The tomato and the orange share the column with the cauliflower.
18. The orange is not in the third row.
19. Corn is in the same column as the apple. It is in the row before the pears.
20. The plum is in the column before the carrot. It is in the same row as the cauliflower.

## Why Is It So Hard?

My husband and I both solved it independently in about 30 min – the hardest part was working out some sort of a system to keep track of possibilities. Also, we were not debating what is a fruit and what is a vegetable and went with common understanding, not with scientific definitions for certain items on this list. I gave Smarty this hint, but she and her classmate are still working on the solution.

Do you enjoy logic challenges like this? If you know of a good website for them, do share in the comments!

## More Math Resources

From my blog:
Follow Natalie Planet Smarty Pants's board Math on Pinterest.

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maryanne @ mama smiles said...

I LOVE logic challenges like this! It is one area where I consistently "beat" Mike, which is also fun. He and I will have to give your challenge a try on our next at-home mini-date :)

JL said...

I love logic problems too. I solved one similar to this and I agree it's all about keeping the info. organized. Once you have a system, it's not too hard.

Ticia said...

Now I want a tangible manipulative to solve this problem. That or I'd be drawing it out. Either way I'm going to figure it out somehow.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see what kids will do with this challenge. I will try and solve it too. :)

Bethany@Math Geek Mama said...

This is a GREAT problem! Thanks for sharing!! I'll definitely be tucking this away for when my kids are a little older :)

Mel said...

Do you have the answer? I'd love to do this with my class but I can't even work it out!