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Well That's Locical


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Burton Borrok Find out more about Burton Borrok
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  • Well That's Locical

    OK folks,
    This really isn’t a joke, but a problem in logic which I think you all might enjoy. Let me say that it IS resolvable, and highlights a situation that we are often faced with in real life. I came across it in a college course when the professor was demonstrating a point.

    For the first one who posts the correct, complete answer, I will make available a cubic foot of gold – providing they can hand carry it themselves, unaided by any mechanical means and with no destruction or disfigurement of the original block, - from my home to the curb. (They would have a week to accomplish this task, - providing they first demonstrate their ability to accomplish the task itself.)

    OK – Here is the situation – Remember, the correct answer must include an explanation of why it is the correct answer.

    * * * * * * * * * * *

    In this Mythical Kingdom there lived only two types of people - Knights who only told the truth, and Jesters who only lied.

    To this mythical kingdom there came a traveling salesman who approached three people who were standing together. He asked the first one if he was a Knight or a Jester – and the man answered him, but the salesman didn’t hear the answer.

    He then asked the second one what the first one had said, and the second one responded, saying, “He said he was a Knight.” Whereupon the third person said, “Oh no, he said he was a Jester.”

    Now the question is – What did the first man say, and why?

    * * * * * * * * * * *

    Good Luck,

  • #2
    Re: Well That's Locical

    It seems that nobody wants to hand carry away the cubic foot of gold. Just as well, as it would weigh a tad over twelve hundred pounds.

    For those of you who still would like to try to solve the puzzle yourself, please stop here and do not go on to the next paragraph, which contains the answer and explanation.

    Are you ready? This is a classic problem in too much information, thereby hiding the important parts. If I said there was a mythical kingdom where lived only Knights who always told the truth and Jesters who always lied, and you asked somebody which they were, what would they say? Well, it wouldn’t take much to figure out that he would say, “I am a Knight.” If he was a Knight he would tell you the truth, but if he were a Jester he would lie and still say, “I am a Knight.” (I never asked what he was, but what he said.) The fact that the second person was obviously a Knight and the third a Jester has nothing whatever to do with what the first man said, and we can only determine what they are by first determining what the first man had to have said.

    I hope you enjoyed the challenge. Anybody get it on their own but didn’t post the answer?


    • #3
      Yeah, Burt,

      This is what I wrote on Word the day you posted it. But I have been too busy to post the reply and really have no business being online now. It is after 11 pm. I have an 8am class that I have to get some things ready for and I have had chest pain, tendency to fall over, and general exhaustion all day. But, here it is!


      If you do not want to see the solution to this, then read no further!

      The first and second men are knights and the third is a jester. The first man told the truth and said he was a knight.

      Why? First of all, regardless of whether the first man was a knight or a jester, he would have said he was a knight. If he was a knight, he would have told the truth and said so. If he was a jester, he would have lied and said he was a knight.

      So, then the question is, was he telling the truth? We cannot deduce that, but we can tell what the other two men are because they disagreed. So, one of them must be a knight and telling the truth and one must be a jester and lying. Since we know that the first man must have said that he was a knight, then the second man must be a knight, since he correctly stated that the first man said he was a knight. Since the third man said that the first man said he was a jester, and we know he could not have said that, we know that the third man is a jester.

      So, now, Burt, I want that gold. So, here's the deal: Since I can't possibly come to Nevada to get it before next July, please just place it in front of your house about July 15. The deal there is that you also have to place it there unaided, but I will relent and let you use that scooter if you want. Then just leave it there for a week. By the end of the week, surely all that heat you keep telling us about in Nevada will melt the gold and I will just let it run downhill to the nearest bank. OK?

      Thanks! Rhoda


      • #4
        Well Rhoda,
        Your reasoning was right on the money, - BUT – just after you said ‘STOP’, you stated that “The first and second men are knights and the third is a jester. The first man told the truth and said he was a knight,”

        In your own explanation you say that what the first man ‘IS’ can not be deduced, only what he ‘SAID’ (which is what was asked.) Therefore, buy your own reasoning; the initial statement of what he actually ‘IS’ can not be factually supported.

        And to think you were – that close – to a cubic foot of gold. Well, maybe next time. It does show however that your mind has been scientifically trained, and logic is a very long suit in your deck of cards. As I said before – ‘Nice knowing you.’


        • #5
          Oops, wrote that days ago late at night as I said and did not reread it.