How to Create a Logic Puzzle

Logic problems can be divided into three types: mathematical deduction, spatial acuity and lateral thinking. Mathematical deduction logic puzzles are the most basic and can be used to teach logical deduction methods. Visual logic or spatial acuity puzzles will require props to help visualize and solve the puzzle. Lateral thinking puzzles require creativity to solve the puzzle. Creating a mathematical logic puzzle requires working backward from the solution to create the clues for the puzzle and is the simplest logic puzzle to create.

Draw a logic grid by drawing five horizontal lines and five vertical lines that cross over each other to form a grid of boxes 5-by-5. Leave enough space to write in the names of the variables next to the horizontal and vertical axis.

Choose 10 variables divided into two categories to use in the logic puzzle. These may be names, colors, animals, locations or any other variable desired. Write the first five variables next to the horizontal rows and the second five variables next to the vertical columns. For example, the names Alice, Betty, Cathy, Dawn and Ellie would be written on the horizontal rows while the names ant, butterfly, cat, dog, elephant are written on the vertical columns.

Create the answer to the puzzle by matching each of the variables on the horizontal axis with one of the variables on the vertical axis. Do not duplicate the matches. As an example: Alice – elephant Betty – dog Cathy – cat Dawn –butterfly Ellie – ant

Write the clues for the puzzle so the user will need to use logic to determine the correct answer. Clues can be created as a story, a series of true/false statements or a combination of both. The following example uses both:

Five friends went the pet store to choose a new pet to bring home. The friends’ names are Alice, Betty, Cathy, Dawn and Ellie. Each girl chose one of the following for a pet; ant, butterfly, cat, dog, or elephant. Use the following clues to determine which girl chose which pet.

1. Alice already has a dog.
2. Betty is afraid of elephants.
3. Cathy chose an animal that starts with the same letter as her name
4. Dawn loves insects
5. Ellie is allergic to fur.
6. Dawn didn’t choose the ant
7. Ellie chose an animal that doesn’t start with the same letter as her name

Review the clues to the puzzle to verify they lead to the correct solution. Make changes as needed.

Based in Minneapolis, Dawn Marcotte has been writing for more than 10 years. Her recent writing has turned to nonfiction and includes articles on home and garden, education, crafts and automotive subjects. She currently has several eBooks published and available online. Marcotte has a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from the University of Iowa.