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Feb 00

Riddle Me (Variation)

French Snowman sent me a variation of the hats riddle (a couple days back):

Three wise men were wandering along, argiung about who was the wisest. Then they encountered a fourth wise man. They asked him to set up a contest for them, to determine who is the wisest. So he showed them his bag, which contained 5 hats: 3 black and 2 white. Then he blindfolded all of them and put a hat on each. The hats were all black (to make the contest equal), but they of course didn’t know this. Then he removed the blindfolds, so each wise man could see the colour of the hats the other two were wearing, but not his own. The fourth wise man decalred “He who first correctly determines the colour of the hat he is wearing is the wisest”. After a short while, one of the wise men shouted out “I’m wearing a black hat”. If he didn’t guess (none of them would risk being wrong for fear of appearing less wise), how did he know?
Bonhomme de Neige

Well, sue me if I’m wrong, but I believe the wisest wise man either cheated or got lucky, cos I can’t see logically how he could say for sure he had a black hat.

This post has 3 comments

1.  Eggman

Well, he knows that the other two are wearing black hats. If they were wearing white hats, it would be obvious that he had a black hat on. However, since the other two were also confused, logic would suggest they were trying to figure it out as well (they saw he and the other man had black on) Not definate, but plausable.

2.  Jim

I realize this is old, but in case someone else stumbles across it as I did and wants the answer… Assume wise man “A” was given a white hat. Wise man “B” looks at that hat and, being a wise man, realizes that he must be wearing a black hat. He realizes this because if he was wearing a white hat, wise man “C” would call out that he was wearing a black hat (there are only two white hats). Because none of the men come to this conclusion, the quickest wise man realizes that no wise man is looking at a white hat. Therefore, he knows that they are all wearing black hats.

3.  Carol

I’ve been trying to figure this out for five days. At the end of one week I will be given the answer. So thanks to you and the internet for the answer. The riddle I was given is a variation with 3 black chips and 2 white chps, a warden and three prisoners.

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