The Three Hats
Today’s Now I Know is a little different. As I said at the top of Friday’s Weekender, I’m taking today and tomorrow off — because the 4th of July falls on a Tuesday, it’s a four-day weekend here. (Which is great, by the way.)
Instead, here’s a logic puzzle/brain teaser. It’s not the first time I’ve done this — I used my absolute favorite puzzle on Columbus Day weekend last year — and it probably won’t be the last.
Onto the puzzle. I’ll publish the answer tomorrow — please don’t reply with your answers, thanks! (But if I screwed up something, yeah, hit reply to let me know.)
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There are three logicians — that is, people who are really, really, good at logic and reasoning, so much so that it’s their job. They’re standing in such a way that they can see the other two. Like, in a triangle formation.
The game master enters the room and informs them that he has with him five hats. Three are white and two are black. He’s going to put one hat on each of logicians’ heads. At no point will any of the logicians be able to see what they have on their own heads, but they will be able to see what the others are wearing. Oh, and the game master is going to hide the other two hats; at no point will the logicians see which hats are hidden.
So, that happens, and now we have three logicians wearing hats.
The game master then says: “Raise your hand if you know what color hat you have on your head.”
A moment or two passes. No one responds. He repeats the command. “Raise your hand if you know what color hat you have on your head.”
Another moment or two passes. No one responds. He repeats the command again. “Raise your hand if you know what color hat you have on your head.”
What happens, and why?
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I’ll be back with the answer tomorrow.