Braingle Lite

Executive Travel Woes

Submitted By:caberet
Fun:*** (2.98)
Difficulty:**** (3.37)

Ms. Langston and four other executives are experiencing the downturn in the economy. While traveling on Wednesday of last week, they had to fly on commercial aircraft instead of enjoying the comfort of private jets. Each executive is an expert in a particular area of business. Use the following clues to determine the first and last name of each executive along with her position, company and her special expertise. No two executives share the same name, position, company or forte.

First Names: Ann, Arlice, Meg, Patricia, Rene
Last Names: Barnes, Langston, Mulcahy, Russo, Whitman
Positions: Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chairperson, Commissioner, President
Companies: ieTrade, Lenamar Tech, Licent Co., Sabancci Ltd., The Surat Group
Fortes: Invention, Leadership, Political Connections, Profit Margin, Stock Options

1. Neither the CEO (who is not the leadership guru) nor the one with the excellent political connections (who is not a CFO or with Licent Co.) is surnamed Russo (who is neither Patricia nor Rene.)

2. Both Ann and Ms. Langston boarded in San Francisco and deplaned in Chicago; the leadership specialist and the chairperson flew from Chicago to Washington, D.C.; the flight of the Sabancci Ltd. executive (who is not surnamed Mulcahy) was from D.C. to New York.

3. The Lenamar Tech. executive (who has no special political connections) and the inventor (who is neither CEO nor CFO) are either the commissioner and chairperson in some order, or are surnamed Russo and Barnes, in some order; only one of these alternatives is true, the other is false.

4. Arlice is neither the ieTrade CFO nor Ms. Barnes; the profit margin specialist is not amongst the three executives.

5. Neither Meg (who is neither the stock options specialist nor the inventor) nor Ms. Mulcahy (who is not Arlice, who is not the chairperson) is affiliated with either Licent Co. or The Surat Group (who is not Rene).

6. Of the CEO (who is not Ms. Russo) and the profit margin specialist (who is not Rene, who is not the chairperson), one is Ms. Whitman and the other is associated with Lenamar Tech (who is not Ann).

7. The stock option specialist is either Ms. Barnes or the executive that works with Sabancci Ltd. (who is neither Patricia, who is not the commissioner, nor Rene.)

8. The president (who is not with Sabancci Ltd.) is not the inventor (who is neither surnamed Whitman nor Barnes.) Ms. Barnes is not the leadership guru.

9. The Surat Group executive is neither surnamed Langston nor Whitman.


First, Last, Position, Company, Forte
Rene, Langston, Commissioner, Licent Co., Invention
Arlice, Whitman, CEO, Sabancci Ltd., Stock Options
Meg, Russo, CFO, ieTrade, Leadership
Ann, Barnes, President, Surat Group, Political Connections
Patricia, Mulcahy, Chairperson, Lenamar Tech., Profit Margin

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Comments on this teaser

Posted by dswilborn02/06/10
This one I worked once in order of clues, then noticed a mistake. So I worked from the bottom up and got it. Nicely done! :D

Posted by nidhikaila02/06/10
i thoroughly loved this puzzle! Thank you!

Posted by braindeadmommia02/06/10
Brilliant! I loved that it was challenging with the double negatives. Thanks.

Posted by caberet02/06/10
:D Thank you for all the great comments, everyone! :D

Posted by mrsfessler02/07/10
great puzzle! Challenging! I loved it!

Posted by RaggedyRoses02/16/10
It is stated in the story line that "Ms. Langston and four other executives .... Each executive is an expert .... determine the first and last name of each executive ...." So, then ... I can only assume that all five women are executives, so how can the profit margin specialist not be "among the three executives" when acutally all five women are supposed to be executives?

Posted by caberet03/22/10
Raggedy - To answer your question: I can only assume that all five women are executives, so how can the profit margin specialist not be "among the three executives" when acutally all five women are supposed to be executives? It means that the profit margin specialist is a 4th person, not one of the 3 previously mentioned in that clue. I'm sorry if that wasn't clearer.

Posted by mom2boys04/09/10
Great job!

Posted by Gizzer08/03/10
I was not able to determine a unique solution to this. I have 3 of the women identified properly, and I know the remaining 2 are Meg Russo and Patricia Mulcahy, who are the ieTrade CFO, who is a leadership guru, and the Lenamar Tech chairperson, who is a profit margin specialist. However, I cannot find anything that determines which name goes with which description. Am I missing something, or is there a clue missing?

Posted by chriscat10/20/10
Gizzer, I have the same issue. The only reason I can think of to conclude that the answer is as given is that the other alternative associates Ms. Russo with Lenamar Tech., which is half of the "false" alternative of clue #3. Logically speaking, though, "A and B" is false unless both "A" and "B" are true, so that shouldn't rule out Ms. Russo being with Lenamar, since Ms. Barnes is not the inventor.

Posted by caberet10/20/10
To answer Gizzer and chriscat: We know that Ms. Russo cannot be the CFO from Clue 1. After going through all the clues, we know that the ieTrade Chairperson with excellent Leadership skills can only be surnamed Mulcahy, Russo or Whitman. We know that the Lenamar Tech Chairperson who is a Profit margin Specialist can ony be surnamed Mulcahy or Whitman. But we were previously told that Ms. Whitman was not with Lenamar, so Ms. Mulcahy must be the Lenamar Chair. I hope this answers your questions. Please let me know if I didn't explain it well enough.

Posted by chriscat10/20/10
I don't understand why the Lenamar Tech Chairperson who is a Profit margin Specialist cannot be Ms. Russo. If you are deriving this from Clue #3, this is not a correct interpretation of the "and" statement in the false alternative, as Ms. Barnes is not the inventor. When I read through your solution and a solution where in Meg Russo and Patricia Mulcahy have reversed attributes, both work for me. What am I missing? (And, btw, I think in your explanation above you meant "We know that Ms. Russo cannot be the CEO from Clue 1." She is in fact the CFO. Anyway, no problem with that point.)

Posted by Kronos12/29/10
I found that the clues are complicated to understand. many variables and can get confusing if not given complete attention. Deserves the high difficulty rating that I and many others have given it.

Posted by mom_rox12/31/10
Hi caberet. I too am confused by the wording. from your hint: "The inventor must be the chairperson or the commissioner." I AGREE "Clue 3 tells us that the inventor cannot be either Ms. Russo or Ms. Barnes." I DISAGREE One possibility (trial and error) is that Ms. Russo can be the Inventor and that Ms. Barnes can be with Lenamar Tech. Clue 3 does not tell you this fact - you have to work through this possibility to find out that this combination will not work. Therefore, the surnames of the Inventor and Lenamar Tech. executives are not exclusively Russo and Barnes, but the wording leaves open the possibility that one of their surnames could be either Russo or Barnes. The clue does not automatically eliminate both surnames for both women. At this point, you can logically deduce the correct solution without any more "trial and error" scenarios, but it takes some time to work through this. Great puzzle, but I think the wording in Clue 3 is too ambiguous.

Posted by wiser_now01/15/11
Again, a challenging and well written puzzle!

Posted by dreamlvr143206/14/11
I agree that clue 3 needs to be edited. Otherwise an excellent puzzle. :D

Posted by caberet06/14/11
Some people seem to have difficulties understanding clue 3. It's essential to determine whether the 3 options fit into one pair or the other. Other clues show us that the inventor MUST be the chairperson or the commissioner, thereby excluding either Ms. Russo or Ms. Barnes as an option, leaving only the other pair as a possibility. I hope this clears things up. I do thank you for your comments.

Posted by roseyb7512/27/11
Clue Three got me confused. :-?

Posted by Obilio11/27/12
Hww, a hard one to be sure, but fun. :) Thank you, and please make more! The challenge is what makes puzzles fun in the first place . One tiny suggestion if I may, ( I couldn't write one of these puzzles if I had a gun to my head, but I've solved quite a few). In the clue that says, " not one of 'the' three executives..." I would have changed 'the' to 'these', thus making it clear that you were speaking of a fourth person. I had trouble with that too. Thanks again, though, you are clearly very good at this!

Posted by spikethru402/14/13
Fiendish! :)

Posted by extremeblueness07/13/13
This one is quite literally impossible. I got Whitman as both CEO and Chairperson, which is obviously impossible. I think the problem arises when you say stuff like "Sabancci Ltd. (who is neither Patricia, who is not the commissioner, nor Rene.)" What this is saying is that Sabancci Ltd. does not have Patricia, and Patricia is neither commissioner nor Rene, as Patricia is closest to the who connected to commissioner, and Rene is grouped in w/ commissioner in the things that Patricia is not (note that it doesn't say that commissioner is Rene). Please fix this, as I don't know what you really mean all the times you say these. Such statements are made in 5, 6, and 7.

Posted by caberet07/14/13
Thank you for your responses everyone. I'm still learning how to express myself precisely and accurately. Folllowing are my explanations for the clues mentioned as being difficult to understand: # 7 - I meant that the Sabancci exec is neither Patricia nor Rene. Patricia is also not the comissioner. #5 - Meg is not the stock options specialist or inventor. Another person, (not Meg) surnamed Mulcahy, is not Arlice. Arlice is not the chairperson. Neither Meg nor Ms Mulcahy is with either Licent or Surat. And Rene is not with Surat. #6 - Ms. Russo is not the CEO. Rene is not the profit margin specialist or the chairperson. Ann is not with Lenamar Tech. The CEO and the profit margin specialist are Ms Whitman and with Lenamar Tech, in some order. I apologize for any confusion. Please know that I meant no harm. I'm just a rank amateur just trying to make some fun puzzles.

Posted by Mellie62710/18/14
I finally go it. :D It was a lot of fun and REALLY hard. I cannot believe this is your first puzzle. Good job. :D

Posted by saska03/03/17
Thanks for your puzzle. Really great work! I managed to solve it with glpsol (a free linear and mixed integer programming solver, available for most platforms). Just in case anyone is interested to play with it, I have uploaded the model file to pastebin ( ). Have fun!

Posted by grace31703/28/17
I found this very tough to go through, the way it is worded is very confusing! e.g. specialist sounds like it's a job so I look at the job positions column every time :(

Posted by PedsRN7808/16/17
Just discovered this website. So much fun! On this puzzle I solved everything down to deciphering who had the political connections and who had stock market expertise. Have gone over all clues forwards and backwards. Can not find clue that helps to decide which of the above are Ann Barnes, President of The Surat Group OR Arline Whitman, CEO of Sabanci. Which clue am I not seeing the answer to this in?

Posted by PedsRN7808/16/17
OMG, ignore above.. Totally missed the answer in first clue, which was so stupidly overlooked. Got everything else right, so had no issues with any of the other clues, or their wording. Excellent puzzle! Thank you!!!


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