Suggested change to Zebra exercise

We’ve deprecated an exercise for being beer-focused. Perhaps we could modify the zebra puzzle exercise to give the people a hobby instead of a cigarette brand

  • Old Gold => dancing
  • Kools => painting
  • Chesterfields => reading
  • Lucky Strikes => football
  • Parliaments => chess

Only the wording of the introduction and instructions needs to change.


We could also avoid caffeine use, since that is exclusionary as well.

Is “decaf” universally known to be “decaffeinated coffee”?

There is also gender bias in “Englishman” and the wording of rule 11. Perhaps we can have a Pakistani, Cypriot or New Zealander.

Would these changes break all existing solutions?

Considering that there are only 554 completions on Python, invalidating all solutions doesn’t seem that bad. We’re probably talking < 2000 solutions total across all tracks.


I’d also like to make all the statements have the same voice to avoid folks getting confused by grammar.

The Spaniard owns the dog.
Someone drinks water in the green house.
... more lines ...
Someone paints in the yellow house.

I doubt it is universal, and full words that are easily looked up in a dictionary is kind.

Yeah, Erik and I discussed this when we recorded the video. I’d be happy to see cigarette changed to hobby.

I’m not sure the other two changes are necessary though. Englishmen exist and are (sometimes) harmless. And sometimes people drink coffee and enjoy it. I think if all the examples were gendered or caffeine-related then that would be fine, but I’m happy to have at least those two descriptors be about me :wink:

Agree with simpler grammar, but rather than “Someone drinks water in the green house.”, I think it should be “The person in the green house drinks water”.


I guess we can allow you some representation ;)

As long as we don’t change “water” or “zebra” or “Norwegian” or “Japanese”, all these suggested edits affect docs only. No solution will break, although they be somewhat disconnected from the instructions (cigarettes in the code, hobbies in the docs).


I’ll volunteer a PR.

Amusingly, this change results in

The person who goes dancing owns snails.

Their hobby and pet kind of cancel each other out, energy-wise.


Looks good to me (LGTM). Could you also banish the smoker from the yard beside my actual house?

only if you buy a zebra.


I often smoke meat and seafood in the backyard, but often do pay attention to the direction of the wind.

Banish the tobacco not the smokers.


I also used to “own” snails (I think I collected them more than owning them though!)

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… wanting to make a “playing fetch, snail’s pace” joke, but I just can’t get out of my shell this morning…


I like. In my solution of a few months ago, I avoided tobacco brands, and it didn’t affect the solution:

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