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Author Topic: Yet Another LR Puzzler: Greasy Apples  (Read 1490 times)

EnglishToLaw

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Yet Another LR Puzzler: Greasy Apples
« on: July 16, 2004, 03:49:21 PM »
Here's an argument that's really throwing me for some reason:

California patron: The apples sold in this cafeteria are greasy. The cashier told me that the apples are in that condition when they are delivered to the cafeteria and that the cafeteria does not wash the apples it sells. Most fruit is sprayed with dangerous pesticides before it is harvested, and is dangerous until it is washed. Clearly, the cafeteria is selling pesticide-covered fruit, thereby endangering its patrons.

Which one of the following is an assumption on which the argument depends?

(A) The apples that the cafeteria sells are not thoroughly washed after harvest but before reaching the cafeteria.
(B) Most pesticides that are sprayed on fruit before harvest leave a greasy residue on the fruit.
(C) Many of the cafeteria's patrons are unaware that the cafeteria does not wash the apples it sells.
(D) Only pesticides that leave a greasy residue on fruit can be washed off.
(E) Fruits other than apples also arrive at the cafeteria in a greasy condition.

The credited response is A, but I can't seem to rationalize it. After reading the prompt, I felt that "greasy" was being equated with pesticide residue, but my instructor says it corresponds with "not being washed." I figured that the apples could have been washed by the farmer or by anyone else before they reached the cafeteria, but I assume I should understand response A to mean that the apples "are not thoroughly washed after harvest but [ARE WASHED] before reaching the cafeteria." It seems like the arguer IS NOT assuming that last part, doesn't it?

What gives? Why am I not getting this? Can somebody explain why A is the answer, and do so in a plain, easy-to-follow way? I went with distractor B, thinking it was the more accurate response. I still do, but we must think like the test writers, not fight them, eh gang?  :P

thebengalgent

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Re: Yet Another LR Puzzler: Greasy Apples
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2004, 05:09:01 PM »
Wow. 

The only thing I can think of is that the "BUT" refers to the period of time between the harvest and reaching the cafeteria. That would make sense of this. 

Let me know what you think.

Strange, indeed.  Was this from an actual test?



GOHawks

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Re: Yet Another LR Puzzler: Greasy Apples
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2004, 05:36:06 PM »
All the stuff about the apples being greasy is just a red harring. 

"Clearly, the cafeteria is selling pesticide-covered fruit, thereby endangering its patrons."  That's the conclusion and we are informed that THEY don't wash their apples.  However, unless we assume A to be true it's possible that someone in the middle of the supply chain washes the apples so that they are safe before they even reach the cafeteria.  If there is a distributor or someone else that is taking on the responsibility of cleaning the apples then it would not be reasonable to conclude that the cafeteria is selling dangerous, pesticide-covered apples.

Hope that helps.

untouchableface

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Re: Yet Another LR Puzzler: Greasy Apples
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2004, 05:50:35 PM »
I’m not sure I can provide a better explanation, but I’ll give it a try.  I think the first sentence is just there to take up space, it’s not really important (because we don’t know if greasy=pesticides).  With the second sentence, we learn that the cafeteria sells the apples in the condition they receive them, so in other words they are never washed by the cafeteria.  The next two sentences are where the assumption is made.  The arguer takes the general statement, “Most fruit is sprayed with dangerous pesticides before it is harvested, and is dangerous until it is washed” and tries to apply it to this specific cafeteria’s apples therefore making the assumption that the apples in the cafeteria are still covered with pesticides.  A red flag should go up in reading that because his logic is not necessarily true because the apples could very well be washed in-between the harvest and their arrival at the cafeteria, and answer choice A describes this angle of  the arguer's assumption.  I understand where you were coming from by choosing B, but the argument isn’t really depending on that. Also, I think choice B is wrong because it talks about “most pesticides” and we don’t know if “most” includes the pesticide was sprayed on these specific apples. The rest of the answer choices are out of scope.

Kwertee

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Re: Yet Another LR Puzzler: Greasy Apples
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2004, 06:14:59 PM »
You are reading A wrong.  It should be read as "The apples that the cafeteria sells are not thoroughly washed at any time between the harvest and reaching the cafeteria."  That is how I read it until you confounded me with your reading.  It is a badly worded choice.  That "but" makes it sound like they were washed before reaching the cafeteria.

foxnewssucks

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Re: Yet Another LR Puzzler: Greasy Apples
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2004, 07:22:30 PM »
Which test is this question in?

EnglishToLaw

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Re: Yet Another LR Puzzler: Greasy Apples
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2004, 07:28:20 PM »
Last night, as I wrestled with this one, I, too, speculated that the "greasy" thing could be a red herring. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

All of these responses are helpful, in fact. Kwertee, I really resisted your explanation for a while, but now I can see that it's the wording of choice A that hangs me up, just as you said. Instead of "but," the test writers should actually have used the word "or." That would have made more sense without changing what I assume to be their meaning here.

The problem is that I would not have figured this one out in the 1.2 or 1.3 minutes you get per question on the actual LSAT arguments section. Argh.

And, yes, by the way, this is from a real LSAT; all of Princeton Review's practice questions supposedly originate in LSAC-generated tests. I believe it's from PrepTest 17.

Thanks, one and all.  ;D

EnglishToLaw

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Re: Yet Another LR Puzzler: Greasy Apples
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2004, 07:33:23 PM »
Yep, just looked it up: it's from PrepTest 17, Section 2. It's Question 10.  :o

foxnewssucks

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Re: Yet Another LR Puzzler: Greasy Apples
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2004, 07:36:59 PM »
Crap!  17 is just about the only test I do not have, besides the first few... something seems strange about this question.

foxnewssucks

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Re: Yet Another LR Puzzler: Greasy Apples
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2004, 07:39:46 PM »
I guess it really is poorly worded... damn testmakers.