Riddle: A train goes between Chicago and New York. The brakeman, the fireman and the engineer are named Smith, Jones and Brown. (The names are not necessarily in order). There are also three passengers named Mr. Smith, Mr. Jones and Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown lives in New York. The brakeman lives halfway between New York and Chicago. Mr. Jones earns exactly $20,000 per year. Smith beat the fireman at their last game of golf. The passenger who lives in Chicago has the same name as the brakeman. The brakeman's next door neighbor is a passenger on this train and earns exactly three times as much as the brakeman. What is the
name of the engineer?
Answer: Determine the known facts. Also notice that the passengers are noted with the title Mr., where as the brakeman, engineer and fireman are identified by their last names only.
1. Mr Brown Lives in New York City
2. The brakeman lives midway between NY and Chicago
3. Mr. Jones earns exactly $20K per year
4. Smith beat the fireman at their last game of golf.
5. The brakeman's next-door neighbor, who is a passenger, earns exactly three times the brakeman's salary.
6. The passenger who lives in Chicago has the same name as the brakeman.
According to #1 and #2, the brakeman's neighbor cannot be Mr. Brown. According to #5, the brakeman's neighbor also cannot be Mr. Jones, because $20,000 is not evenly divisible by three. This leaves Mr. Smith as the next door neighbor to the brakeman. Mr. Smith lives halfway between New York and Chicago (#2) as does the brakeman. Since Mr. Brown lives in New York, by process of elimination, it is now known that Mr. Jones lives in Chicago.
According to statement #6, this means that the brakeman is named Jones.
According to statement #4, the fireman cannot be Smith, so the fireman must be must be Brown, which leaves Smith as the engineer.