A Riddle for an INTJ

Once upon a time, I was a seventeen-year-old, bored out of my mind, even in my college-level classes. This boredom morphed into a sort of cosmic angst, anger at the fact that I was sitting in a classroom memorizing facts when I could be problem-solving somewhere else.

My sister tells me I looked like Sherlock pounding around the living room asking for a case.

Boredom is a very dangerous thing in immature INTJs because we’ll do pretty much anything to stop being bored (so long as it doesn’t violate our principles).

In 2014, @Ockham’s Chainsaw linked me to a post they’d written on the topic of intelligence, mentioning that NT types are often reluctant to say, “I can’t do it,” or “I don’t know,” when taking a test because they have firm confidence in their ability to figure the problem out, even if they don’t know the answer.

The following piece of writing consists of the notes I recorded while solving the Einstein Riddle to stop being bored when I was in high school, and it’s a perfect example of Ockham’s idea.

Actually, it is easy. You just have to believe it. The problem with the 98% of people who can’t solve this riddle is that they lack the patience and the solid logic necessary to tell themselves that they can do it. As it turns out, I fall into the 2% that can effectively solve this riddle without googling instructions (since that’s no fun for an INTJ).

Come on, people. If you think you can’t do it, you’ve been watching too much telly.

I started with what I knew for sure.

  • House 1 = Norwegian
  • House 2 = blue (because the house next to the Norwegian is blue)
  • house 3 = Brit/red (because the middle house drinks milk –> green and white have to be next to each other and green drinks coffee, so it couldn’t be them)
  • House 4 = green (because green is on the left of white)
  • House 5 = white

Next, using a graph, I decided to slowly decipher various details about each:

  • House 1 = yellow (since I knew all the other colours) –> The yellow house owner smokes Dunhill
  • House 2 owns a horse (because the horse lives next to Dunhill)

Next, I made a graph of what I knew (in order of houses):

COLOUR Yellow Blue Red Green White
Pet Horse
Cigar Dunhill
Drink Milk Coffee
Nationality Norwegen Brit

I knew then that the water drinker could only belong at the yellow house because:

  1. Yellow doesn’t drink beer (beer is paired with Bluemaster and we know that yellow smokes Dunhill)
  2. He doesn’t drink tea (because the Dane drinks tea, not the Norwegian)
  3. The only option left was water

From this, I determined that the Blue house-owner smokes Blend (because Blend is neighbors with water).

Next, I looked specifically at one clue: the owner who drinks beer smokes Bluemaster

  1. Blue doesn’t drink beer because he smokes Blend
  2. Green drinks coffee and red drinks milk, so neither smoke Bluemaster
  3. Therefore, White drinks beer and smokes blue master
COLOUR Yellow Blue Red Green White
Pet Horse
Cigar Dunhill Blend Bluemaster
Drink Water Milk Coffee Beer
Nationality Norwegen Brit

Well, there was one obvious hole there…looks like blue drinks tea and is a Dane….

I deduce that the German lives in the green house because:

  • he can’t live in the blue house because he smokes Prince, not Blend
  • he doesn’t smoke Bluemaster, so he doesn’t live in the white house

Red must be the bird owner, because the bird owner smokes Paul Mall and all the other cigars are taken

Yellow owns the cat because blend has a neighbor who owns a cat (and we’ve now determined that it’s not red because red owns the bird)

COLOUR Yellow Blue Red Green White
Pet Cat horse Bird
Cigar Dunhill Blend Paul Mall Prince Bluemaster
Drink Water Milk Coffee Beer
Nationality Norwegen Brit German

We can easily see from looking at the graph that the only place left for our tea-drinking Dane is Blue.

That leaves white to be the dog-owning Swede and the green to own the fish.

COLOUR Yellow Blue Red Green White
Pet Cat Horse Bird Fish Dog
Cigar Dunhill Blend Paul mall Prince Bluemaster
Drink Water Tea Milk Coffee Beer
Nationality Norwegien Dane Brit German Swede

The German owns the fish!

To my Grammar Nazis

Recently, I’ve gotten an influx of grammar-correcting comments, which I’d like to address. I believe grammar is expressly important, but it’s not the most important thing in writing.

You spelled ______ wrong! Don’t you understand how important grammar is?

Being a grammar nazi is a poor way to assert your intelligence because it merely expresses emotional immaturity. A grammar nazi is a person who lacks the self-control necessary to restrain themselves from voicing their inner-critic at inappropriate times and places. He misses the big picture in order to focus on minute details.

Correcting other people’s grammar does not make anyone think of you as a genius. A person may be academically intelligent, but that does them no good if they lack emotional maturity. On a larger scale, this is why Ender Wiggin was chosen to fight the bugger war over his brother Peter. Both were incredibly intelligent, but one of them lacked emotional maturity.

I completely understand the urge to correct other people’s grammar –believe me. However, self-control is far more important. If you can’t control the things you chose to say, then who are you? Because you’re not your own person. You’re simply being swayed one way and another by your emotional responses to things that aren’t important.

“Recognise is spelled with a Z.”

Yeah, maybe in America, but in the UK, we spell it with an S. My earlier attempts to cater all my spellings toward Americans (who comprise the largest percentage of my readership) were a flop, and I’ve gone back to UK spellings.

Consider this. Which is more important? Somebody else’s correctness, or your maturity? Are you simply going to react to everything you see, rather than assertively making a decision as to how you will respond? Are you going to sacrifice your own maturity for the sake of something you probably can’t change?

I am an English Major. I knew the risks of deciding not to spend an extra ten minutes editing per post on this website. It’s for this very reason that I specifically avoid connecting this blog to the books/stories that I’ve published.

I apologise for any grammatical errors you may find on this blog. I’m sorry if they offend you, but they don’t offend me enough that I’m going to spend my entire day off trying to fix all of them.

The Myers-Briggs Types as Geniuses

“Ok so I sometimes try to type characters but I always think the smart ones have to be Ts instead of Fs. Could you give examples of what each type would look like as geniuses? Also, are some types more likely to be clever than others?”

First of all, personality type doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with intelligence. It has to do with how the brain functions, not how well it functions. That said, I do think that the way the brain functions does play into what a person’s interests they are (for instance, how interested they are in learning). So yes, I would say that certain types are more likely, although not universally set to be more intellectual.

NTs typically show up in statistics as having the highest IQs. I was tested at one point with an IQ of 146, but in my opinion, IQ isn’t really an accurate measure of intelligence, and here’s why.

The definition of intelligence is highly subjective. One might be intelligent in the area of mathematics, or one might also be incredibly intelligent as to the art of baking. But, since I’ve assumed that you’re talking about the vile patriarchal values that dictate my education (aka book-smarts), I’ve comprised a list of examples for you.

However, do keep in mind that MBTI personality types have loads of stereotypes hooked on them. For instance, the stereotype that all INTxs are geniuses.

Wrong. Remember, there are people like Billy Pilgrim.

Furthermore, the media has an overwhelming tendency to present each personality type according to stereotypes. Most of the uber-intelligent characters that come up in fiction tend to be rationals. There far fewer NTs that pop up in fiction presented as stupid, and very few SFs that are presented as smart. Ultimately, that leads to further stereotyping of all NTs as smart and all SFs as stupid. Poor children of this earth…

Consider also, that there are varying degrees of intelligence. In one place, a person may be the smartest person in the room, but step into the next room and they may feel like a blundering idiot in pannyhoes.

Here are some examples, and like I said –yes, there seem to be more of them in certain categories than others. I’ve included both fictionals and real people. Obviously, not all of these are going to be geniuses, but I’ve tried to put in what a fairly intelligent person should look like for each type.

Clever examples:

INTP: Charles Augustus Magnussen, Peter Parker, Charles Darwin, Rene Descartes

ENTP: the 11th and 5th Doctors, Jim Moriarty, Petra Arkanian, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison

INTJ: Ender Wiggin, the 12th Doctor, the 4th Doctor, Sherlock, Steven Hawking, Nikola Tesla, Steve Jobs, John Nash

ENTJ: Peter Wiggin, Tony Stark, Bill Gates, Carl Sagen, Loki (Thor)

INFP: the 9th Doctor, Albert Einstein, Brian Cox, Tom Hiddleston, John Green

ENFP: Jonathan Strange, the 10th Doctor, Michio Kaku

INFJ: the 8th Doctor, Neils Bohr, Bruce Banner (the Hulk – sometimes INTP depending on the actor playing him)

ENFJ: Charles Xavier, Gwen Stacy

ISTP: Indiana Jones, Natasha Romanov (Black Widow)

ESTP: Tintin

ISTJ: Mr. Norrell, Spock, Sigmund Frued, Allan Turing

ESTJ: Hermione Granger, Mycroft Holmes, Bryan Mills (Taken)

ISFP: Jane (Ender’s Game)

ESFP: Benedict Cumberbatch…is unfortunately the smartest one I can think of…

ISFJ: Rory Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)

ESFJ: Danielle de Barbarac (Ever After)

Sorry, but I couldn’t think of any for the blank ones. Comments gladly welcome if you think of any.

It appears that NTs are in the lead (actually, to be completely honest, I deliberately cut the INTx lists down to just to be nice to the ENTx groups). NFs and STs appear next in line and sorry for all of you SFs, but you’re last. Results are inconclusive. Judge as you see fit.