- Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:04 pm
My guiding principle in cases like that one, lathlee, is that when the relationships are absolutely fixed and unchanging, I merge the variables. That is, there is exactly one FM to deal with and exactly one SM to deal with. There's no guesswork as to creating those combinations, nothing to uncover, because it has already been given to us. Also, notice that the rules tell us nothing about the difference between F and S - that is, there is no rule like "the third folder must be a Fall folder", or "two Fall folders are placed before the first Spring folder". Since the Fall/Spring issue isn't dealt with separately from the subjects, that also points towards merging them.
You'll see something similar in the somewhat infamous game about the 10 types of CDs on sale, New and Used versions of Jazz, Rock, etc. If you know from the rules and scenario that you can create a known, fixed number of unique variables by merging the characteristics, then you should probably do so. If there could be some flexibility in those pairings, don't merge them. For example, if they told us that the course folders included "some Fall courses and some Spring courses" and did not clearly tell us that there was one of each for each subject, merging would be inappropriate.
I hope that helps!
Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT, GRE, ACT and SAT Instructor
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