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Hi I am very lost with this logic games problem and am looking for some help! Thanks!
 Nicholas Bruno
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Hi Roger,

Sure thing! I am going to give you an idea of how to set up the game and some of the inferences then I suggest that you go back and try to set up the game again and retry the game. That way, you can get the practice and hopefully figure out where maybe something was missing!

First off, this is a grouping game. Our main concern here is going to be which subzones are allowed in each development zone.

First thing to note, no more than three subzones can be designated for each of the three uses.

The three groups are:

The first rule says that no retail (R) is allowed in Z1. I'd diagram it like:

R :dblline: Z1

Second rule is going to be key and I would diagram the rule with HHH in a box with a "not" line through it. Basically, the idea is that you can have at MOST, two Hs. Since we know that three is the maximum number of subzones, we can have either one H or two Hs but NOT three Hs in a residential zone.

Third Rule: if H :arrow: at most, 1 R

Fourth Rule: I would have to diagrams. First H :dblline: I. Second, RRR :dblline: I. This is another key rule.

So now you can make some inferences. The main unknown in the game so far is how many subzones per development zone. You can make the following inferences along those lines:

If H is one of the subzones, at most you can have three subzones in the zone (HHR).
Rule #2 says the maximum number of Hs is 2. Rule #4 says H cannot be with I. And Rule #3 says that if you have H, you can have at most 1 R.

We know that once we put an H in the equation, we are going to have fewer numbers so we need to proceed with the maximum number of variables in each group ignoring Hs.

If R is one of the subzones, you can have a maximum of five subzones in the zone (RRIII).
We cannot have three Rs because then we could have no Is. But we can have two Rs and three Is without a problem.

If I is one of the subzones, you can, again, have a maximum of five subzones in the zone (RRIII) for the same reasons listed above.

So from that, we can conclude that the maximum number of subzones is 5.

Why don't you start with that? Go ahead and diagram that out and tackle the game again. That might raise specific questions so let me know if they come up when you finish the game!
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This is for either Jon D. or Dave K, who also wrote a similar blog post on the fourth game - the dreaded "zones" game - of the Oct 2012 exam. The first time I did this game, for some bizarre reason, I did NOT get stumped on the confusing language and completed the game. The second time I revisited it - months later - I sure enough, was completely taken in by the last sentence preceding the rules ( "By city regs, a total of no more than three sub-zones...) I must've stared at it and re-read it 8 or 9 times. Like many others, I interpreted it to mean that each zone was limited to a max of three subzones.

Any advice on how to move past such frustration...perhaps read ahead into the questions even tho there is still such uncertainty over a major component in the set-up??? For example, if one read ahead and scanned to Q. 20 of this game, in retrospect that was a tip-off that more than three could go into each zone.

Jon/ Dave - How does one know when LSAT writers are purposely writing confusing language vs. when a test taker is really actually looking to insert confusion unnecessarily when it does not exist. In other words, how do you not prematurely psyche yourself out on the sometimes convoluted language used in games?

Thanks in advance.
 Jon Denning
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Hey Cecilia,

Thanks for the question! I think that blog was one of Dave's, but I know this game well (and your general concern), so I'm going to jump in and try to help out. Really I see it as a two-part question, where on the one hand you're seeing an idea within a game that can be confusing to decipher, and on the other it's a more psychological question of how to better interpret the test makers' intent. I'll address both, but not in that order.

My first piece of advice is probably the most crucial and applies to both concerns I mention above, but is, perhaps counterintuitively, the least immediately helpful: practice. The more you expose yourself to the language of the test makers the more comfortable you'll be with all of its variety and nuance, and the less likely you'll be to misread something or get overwhelmed. Just keep at it and always, always force yourself to pay close attention to the details (a skill you'll find immensely useful in law school and beyond, too). With time and continued exposure the elements that seem confusing now will become recognizable and thus much, much easier to manage.

Along those lines, I'm also always under the impression that the people who write the LSAT aren't looking to make things easy for me, so I'm extremely guarded as I work my way through it. I don't expect absolute clarity on their part, so if something feels a little convoluted I'm not surprised, and if something feels patently obvious I tend to be more wary of it as a possible misread than elated by their generosity. But because I've practiced so much, and forced myself to go back over any instance that wasn't straightforward at first, I'm supremely confident that there's nothing LSAC can do on this test that I can't untangle and make sense of. That confidence is born of experience, and it's also self-fulfilling: the more you trust your ability to decode anything, the more successful you become at decoding. In the same way that now having done that game you should be more adept moving through it again, so too will test day reward the well-prepared with repetitive, recognizable concepts, concepts that prove devastating to the uninitiated.

Second, and more specifically to the game in question, when I approach a game, especially one with numerical elements or possibly undefined constraints of group sizes, orders, or placements, I slow down a bit and begin to consider the extremes. That is, I "test" (think about) the upper and lower limits of what could happen without any restrictions, and then see what restrictions have been given to confine the possibilities.

For instance, consider something like "five people are available to work during a five-day work week, Mon-Fri." At present that's extremely vague! Do we have to use all five? Maybe not. Do we have to use any? Again, not sure. Will someone go each day? Can more than one person work each day? Can people work multiple days? In each case the answer is unknowable with just that single sentence description.

What will then happen is the remainder of the scenario and rules will begin to help us answer those questions. Maybe there's a phrase like, "...with one employee scheduled to work on each of the five days." That helps! Now all five days are filled, and a single person works each day. Of course, I still don't know at this point about one person working multiple days, or how many of the five people must be used, but because I was aware of the initial uncertainties, when information begins to clarify those questions I'm well-suited to make use of it. Then if I still feel a bit unsure--"can a day be empty?" "can someone go more than once?"--I'll do as you mention and scan the questions and answer choices very quickly to see if further clues exist there; a List question may show you immediately that possibilities exist beyond those you imagined.

And what if there's no information given to limit the possibility, either via scenario or rules/inferences or questions/answers? Then it remains possible and you have to allow for its potential occurrence. So from a practical standpoint that's how I approach the presentation of elements similar to those in the game here: I think of all possibilities as possible until told otherwise, and move through the setup trusting that restrictions that exist will become apparent to me.

So in general stick with it and stay diligent, and more specifically for games consider my advice about testing the full scope of options and whittling down possibilities as restrictions mandate. I think you'll find with continued attention and practice it gets easier and easier, until clarity, on your end at least, is universal.

Thanks and I hope this helps!

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Thank you so much Jon for your thoughtful response. It really helped.
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In the first sentence of the scenario (the last clause), "with no subzone designated for more than one use", what does this mean?
 Kristina Moen
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Hi adlindsey,

If you struggled with this game, you are not alone! Many students found the scenario confusing. I encourage you to go back through this thread. Other LSAT instructors have offered invaluable insights about how to approach this game and others like it (you always want to be thinking about how to apply what you learn to future games and any games you might encounter on test day!).

"No subzone designated for more than one use" means that a subzone is EITHER housing, industrial, or retail. There is no mixed-use subzone. You can have a housing subzone, an industrial subzone, or a retail subzone. Those are the options.

What this means is that H, I, and R are the variables that you will be moving around among the three zones.

I'm not going to go further into the game, as you can review the thread and see the explanations put forth by other LSAT instructors. However, if you still have questions, don't hesitate to ask! Good luck!
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Hi, I struggled understanding the meaning of the game scenario, particularly the part that said "with no subzone designated for housing, industrial, or retail use." I read that as not being able to combine H, I, or R, but the rules clearly said otherwise, so I was left stuck as to the exact meaning of that phrase. I wrote out the rules, but went into the q's without a clear picture and lost a lot of time trying to make sense of the game. In addition to providing an explanation to the meaning of the above mentioned phrase, can you also please provide some guidance as to the best way to tackle games that are written to be slightly confusing?

 Adam Tyson
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I'm not seeing that phrase in the scenario or rules of the game, Oneshot. Perhaps you have misread something? I see "subzones can be designated for housing, industrial, or retail use" and also "with no subzone designated for more than one use" - are you perhaps getting those two lines jumbled up?
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I read the "or" in the last rule as an either or "or." Which led me to notate the rule as exactly 3 Rs being a necessary condition for the HI box. I see how it means H cannot be with I AND H cannot be with 3 Rs. But what language clues here indicate that it isn't the way I originally read it? Which was: H and I cannot be together OR (as in or else) exactly three subzones are designated for R. I still only missed 2 on this one in a timed 5 section scenario, but still I seriously misinterpreted that rule. It feels like the test makers could have said "or [IN WHICH] three subzones are designated for retail use." That dangerous little "or" all alone feels really ambiguous. As far as I can tell the way it is worded doesn't do enough to clarify whether its a long either or statement or whether the or is introducing a second sufficient condition for not I. The multifaceted nature of the word "or" as used on the LSAT leaves me at a loss in this grammatical structure as to what the "or" is definitely saying. Advance thanks for any help!

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