An LSAT logical reasoning question, compliments of Charlie Sheen.

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An LSAT logical reasoning question, compliments of Charlie Sheen.
As anyone knows, Charlie Sheen would ace the LSAT, much like he’s aced living; he’s not just winning, he’s bi-winning. However, the women trapped in his sordid web need to know exactly how well they’re doing in the game of life (lower case to avoid infringement). The following logical reasoning question will test your diagramming abilities as well as provide them with an answer:

Any woman who lives with Charlie Sheen is a goddess. Charlie Sheen lives exclusively in the one-and-only Sober Valley Lodge. Brooke Mueller no longer lives with Charlie Sheen. If you are bi-winning, then you are Charlie Sheen, or you live with him.

If all of the above statements are true, which one of the following must be true?

a) Brooke Mueller is no longer a goddess.
b) If you are not bi-winning, then you are not a goddess.
c) If you are not living in the Sober Valley Lodge, but you are either a goddess or bi-winning, then you are living with Charlie Sheen.
d) Jon Cryer moved in with Charlie Sheen, and is therefore a goddess.
e) If you are not a goddess, then you are either a man or not living with Charlie Sheen.

This logical reasoning question is really testing your ability to diagram, a hallmark of the Must Be True question type. So let’s take it one sentence at a time:

Any woman who lives with Charlie Sheen is a goddess.

It’s easy to take this first sentence and say LCS (live with Charlie Sheen) -> G (oddess). However, you’d be leaving out the important first part: you must also be a woman. So we end up with
W & LCS -> G.

Charlie Sheen lives exclusively in the one-and-only Sober Valley Lodge.

Again, easy enough: CS (Charlie Sheen) -> LSVL (live in the Sober Valley Lodge). You can also say that, since Charlie lives exclusively in the (one and only) SVL, anyone who lives with him also lives at the SVL. So LCS (live with Charlie Sheen) -> LSVL. And, since there’s only one SVL, LSVL -> LCS.

Brooke Mueller no longer lives with Charlie Sheen.
First, we diagram this as BM (Brooke Mueller) -> LCS. However, we also want to note that it’s playing with time a bit when it says that she no longer lives with Charlie Sheen. Just something to keep in our heads when we look at the answers; it might come up, it might not.

If you are bi-winning, then you are Charlie Sheen, or you live with him.
Our final sentence to diagram, and an easy one. BW (bi-winning) -> CS or LCS.

So we end up with:
1) W & LCS -> G
2) CS -> LSVL
3) LCS <-> LSVL
4) BM -> LCS
5) BW -> CS or LCS

A lot of conditionals, and there’s not a chain that stands out on which to use the transitive property. That’s alright, as we’ve got a lot of information, so let’s start tackling the answer choices.

a) Brooke Mueller is no longer a goddess.

This answer choice is giving us BM -> G. We see that we know BM -> LCS and W & LCS -> G. The only way to get G is to take the contrapositive of the second conditional; however, that wouldn’t let us combine the two, so we can’t say this for sure. We just know that one way for a woman to attain goddesshood is to live with Charlie Sheen; Brooke Mueller may have reached that goal through another method (such as sacrificing Sheen’s soul – Blueprint’s taking his side in the custody battle).

b) If you are not bi-winning, then you are not a goddess.

Double negative; tricky in grammar, easy on the LSATs. This gives us BW -> G. Right away, we can see that BW only appears as a sufficient condition; the only time we would see BW is as the contrapositive of BW -> CS or LCS (which would be CS and LCS -> BW). We can throw this answer out.

c) If you are not living in the Sober Valley Lodge, but you are either a goddess or bi-winning, then you are living with Charlie Sheen.

Complex: LSVL & (G or BW) -> LCS. Gotta hate those sentences with both & and or, right? Wrong. When you have an & in a conditional, both conditions (before and after the &) must be met. Just check each one. Can we say LSVL -> LCS? No, because we know that Charlie lives exclusively at the SVL (he can’t be tempted by anything other than the goddesses there). Since we know that not living at the SVL means you don’t live with the Sheen (that’s right, the Sheen – take that Martin and, to a lesser extent, Emilio), the entire answer breaks down.

(Incidentally, we also know that if you don’t live in SVL, then you can’t be bi-winning, since BW is sufficient to tell us that you’re either CS or LCS, either of which tells us you LSVL.)

d) Jon Cryer moved in with Charlie Sheen, and is therefore a goddess.

Now that Jon Cryer moved in with Charlie Sheen, we can say he’s a goddess, right? After all, don’t we know LCS -> G? If you read over the first sentence in the stimulus quickly, you might have missed the other sufficient condition; namely, the W part. Now, you might argue that Jon Cryer is a women (and I might agree), but there’s nothing in the stimulus (or answer) to indicate this (notice, there also isn’t anything to disprove it). However, since we don’t know for sure the gender of Jon Cryer, we have to throw this answer out of a must be true question.

e) If you are not a goddess, then you are either a man or not living with Charlie Sheen.

We’ve got a good feeling about this answer because we’ve ruled everything else out. However, let’s look at it to hone our diagramming skills and make sure we’ve got it right.

G -> W or LCS

I’ve diagrammed ‘man’ as W here to ensure that we can say something about it based on our conditionals from the stimulus; as progressive as the LSAT is, they probably won’t start including hermaphrodites. All of these variables are included in one thing we already know from the stimulus: W & LCS -> G. To get everything lined up with this answer choice, we have to take the contrapositive of the conditional, giving us G -> W or LCS.

Perfect.

Based on the stimulus, we know if you give me someone who you assure me isn’t a goddess, then I will be able to tell you that either they aren’t a woman or they don’t live with Charlie Sheen (or both, like me, unfortunately; the LCS part is unfortunate, not the other thing). We can say this because if the person in question met both of these sufficient conditions, we would know she is a goddess.

So there you have it. A ton of conditionals can be reduced to a few rules that can be used to easily eliminate incorrect answer and find correct ones. It turns something as daunting as a drug problem to something as simple as a drug problem for Charlie Sheen.

By Blueprint LSAT instructor Matt Shinners.

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