[Community puzzle] The Burglar's Dilemna

This topic is about the puzzle The Burglar’s Dilemna.

Feel free to send your feedback or ask some help here!

If anyone cares to allocate time to this old puzzle like me, I wish to share my findings and invite anyone to correct me.
The puzzle gave this example:
1 2 3 4
1 2 4 5
1 2 4 8
“Assumption 3 - CLUCK is the sound for a correct number:
This means that 4 is the correct 3rd and 4th number. Looking at the first line, 3 being next to 4, we guess that CLACK has the adjacent meaning. But …”

When Cluck was assumed to be Sure Match, there is still the possibility of
(Click==Adj Match, Clack==No Match) or (Click==No Match, Clack==Adj Match). In the above puzzle statement the second one was proved to be impossible (well-done) but the first one is still open. By using this open assumption there are multiple possible combinations not mentioned, as follows:

(Click==Adj Match, Clack==No Match, Cluck==Sure Match)
Combination can be [0 1 4 4], [0 3 4 4], [2 1 4 4], [2 3 4 4]

Was it too early to confirm the only possible combination is [1 2 5 5]?

Some of the test cases (and validators) might have similar multiple combinations possibly unnoticed.

1 2 3 4
(Click==Adj Match, Clack==No Match, Cluck==Sure Match)
Combination can be [0 1 4 4]

Then the 3rd sound would be a CLICK, not CLACK.

I solved this puzzle a while back and to me it seemed that there is a unique solution (or that you have to FLEE). I could not find any logical flaws.

Euler u are right.
I overlooked that the meaning of “No Match” should include not matching the adj numbers as well.
With this logic weapon in hand the puzzle is resolved.


This is a well-set puzzle for every logical beings. Other worth-trying puzzles of similar type are:

  • Spy the spies
  • Einstein’s riddle solver
  • Simple safecracking

this can be an ad if you think so…

Very nice puzzle, very well balanced.
Clear description, funny background story.
Finding the combination is a clever motivation booster.
I love it !

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As far as I understand, this should return FLEE but my first attempt returned 2 and passed 100% of the available test case. Would be nice to add this to the list of test cases.

I can confirm FLEE, as both my own solution as well as the problem setter’s print it.
I’m just uncertain if we should add a new validator now, 3 years after the approval. Doing so would not be a big deal, anyone with level 30 or above can edit the contribution.

Good point, the tests could use a one digit code with a FLEE anwser (was it the cause of your failure ?), so I added yours :wink:

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In my initial solution I only tried to find one valid configuration of CLICK,CLACK,CLUCK and print its solution. Valid configuration = one in which we only have one possible answer.

For the test case I mentioned there are two valid configurations but they yield different results.

Thanks for your reply and for adding the testcase!

I think this test is not valid and the solution is not FLEE.
The wording (in French) tells that all previous attempts are failures, so “2” can’t be a solution as it has already been tried.

There’s only one valid solution left, so it can’t be flee.

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I’m sorry, but i have to agree with didierg98, in the problem description, it clearly states that previous attempt are failure, so FLEE can’t be an answer, can you correct the validators ?
i’m stuck on this one, all my tests passed but only 62% of the validators

You’re both absolutely right, I haven’t thought of that. I removed this test case, thank you.

Maybe it’s a bit long after this, but I have a problem with the “long code” combination
I found FLEE, but it says it should be
4 2 1 9 6 6 0 7 3 2

I try to debug, and I think it should be flee ?
For the same combination, I found out it for the 4th number could be 0 or 9 (in my opinion)
[[4], [2], [1], [0, 9], [6], [6], [0], [7], [3], [2]]

Anyone else did have this ?

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