A Canarian, Icelandic, Mauritian, Norwegian, Slovenian and a Swedish person was stuck in Puzzlers Islands after a shipwreck. They met the Islands Puzzle Master who told them to do a task. If they didn't manage to get it right on the first try they'll be stuck forever with their life at risk. If they instead got it right they would be sent home to their respective countries immediately.

Here's what the Puzzle Master told them:

  • Create two lines where each line consist of three people standing side by side. One line should be unpleasant, the other line should be pleasant. They should be quite the opposite.

  • Hold hands where it's necessary. Don't hold hands where it's not.

Here's an illustration/example of what he meant by lines:

enter image description here

How did they arrange themselves? Which people held hands? Explain why.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (Since D and R are fairly close on the keyboard I'll clarify if you indeed meant Canarian or you meant Canadian instead.) $\endgroup$
    – oAlt
    Sep 9, 2022 at 10:43
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @oAlt No I really meant Canarian $\endgroup$ Sep 9, 2022 at 10:47

2 Answers 2


The people from each country should be arranged in two lines as follows:

Pleasant: Mauritius (space) Slovenia (holding hands) Canary Islands

Unpleasant: Norway (space) Iceland (holding hands) Sweden

Why? Because:

If we replace each person with the two-letter ISO code of their country of origin, we get:

Pleasant: Mauritius (space) Slovenia (holding hands) Canary Islands
i.e. MU S(I)C

Unpleasant: Norway (space) Iceland (holding hands) Sweden
i.e NO I(S)E

where the shared letters of countries holding hands only appear once.

Same information in picture form

This makes sense of the title and flavour text too...

...as when people make 'music' it generally sounds pretty good (pleasant), whereas 'noise' sounds bad (unpleasant)!

  • $\begingroup$ This is the intended arrangement. Well done! $\endgroup$ Sep 9, 2022 at 12:21

The answer according to me is,

The persons standing in the pleasant line:

Swede, Icelander and Norwegian with Icelander and Norwegian holding hands.

The persons standing in the unpleasant line:

Slovenian, Canarian and Mauritian with each of them standing separately.

This seems to be a puzzle about:

National Flags

Three members of the pleasant line have:

National Flags with a cross in them. Iceland and Norway have a white border to their crosses and hence they are holding hands while Sweden doesn't have a border to it's cross.

enter image description here

Three members of the unpleasant line have:

National Flags with different features. Slovenia has horizontal tricolour, Canary Islands has vertical tricolour and Mauritius has horizontal stripes of four colours. Hence they're standing apart from each other.

enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice way of looking at it, but I didn't have flags in mind. $\endgroup$ Sep 9, 2022 at 12:20

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