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 moshei24
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#4727
Hi,

Is there a way to know that there are only 6 total possibilities - 3 with Purple going fifth, and 3 with Purple going sixth?

Is there a way to know that once all the inferences are derived? Is there some trick that can be done?

Thanks!
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 Dave Killoran
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#4737
Hi Moshe,

Do you mean, is there a way to know there are exactly six total possibilities after reading the rules but before doing any diagramming? In this game, I'd say that would be hard to see clearly because of the abstract interaction of the rules here. In most games the reason to show the possibilities is that you sense there are significant limitations, which then result in a small number of solutions. But, in the heat of the moment, it is often difficult to know exactly how many will be produced (especially since in some cases an expected possible solution turns out to be impossible due to some rule or restriction).

Please let me know if that helps. Thanks!
 moshei24
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#4761
So my best bet is to just start diagramming possible solutions until there are no more?
 Adam Tyson
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#4782
Most of the time attempting to diagram all possibilities is a recipe for disaster in the form of wasted time. The key is in what Dave said about recognizing significant limitations. It can come in many forms - a variable that can only go in one of two places coupled with a series of variables that have to be placed in a specific order, perhaps, or a limitation on the size of two groups coupled with certain variables that either must be in the same group or cannot be in the same group. Using the template approach or the possibilities approach too often will hurt more than it will help.

Start with the basics - read all the rules, look for linkages where two or more rules can be efficiently tied together into a single, more-powerful rule. Diagram the rules efficiently, tying variable together where you can. Put your base together. Some of the time, on some games, you'll start to get a sense that the solution sets are limited, and those are ones where you should try asking yourself a few "what-if" questions. "What if P is 5th - then what has to happen?"; "What if there are only two ingredients in the appetizer - what must they be?"; "What if M is the dietary regimen I select - what does that require me to include and to discard?"

(Actually, I do this "what-if" process on most games - it's a form of prephrasing for logic games that helps to ferret out some important inferences, but on the ones where I sense that a template approach might be useful I spend a little more time on these to try and discover if my intuition is correct or not).

You may not know that there are only 6 possible solutions, but if you sense that there are those significant limitations you may discover that there are 4 templates, or 8 solutions, or three templates, etc. This will come with practice, practice, practice - don't go down this path unless you have a strong sense that it will pay off.

Adam M. Tyson
PowerScore LSAT Instructor
 moshei24
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#4790
Well, yeah, that's the approach I've been taking. I'll see that the rules fill up a lot of space, which likely means templates will work.

In this specific game, though, my point in asking the question was - when I see that there's likely going to be only a few possibilities and I don't know how many there are, should I just start diagramming solutions to see which ones fit?

My guess would be that I should in this kind of situation where the solution set seems limited, even though I can't, based on the information given to me, determine the exact amount of solutions there are.
 Adam Tyson
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#4792
I would say yes - when you realize that there is a limited solution set, even without knowing exactly how many solutions there might turn out to be, you should start diagramming at least the templates for those solutions.
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 Dave Killoran
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#4795
Adam is 100% correct. In fact, this is an almost ideal time to do so because you already know it is a limited situation, but you are having trouble seeing the exact nature of what is occurring. Diagramming the solutions then eliminates any uncertainty.

Thanks!
 moshei24
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#4799
Okay, thanks.

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