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The White Knight who couldn't quite remember (Posted on 2004-04-06) Difficulty: 4 of 5
The White Knight was recounting the story of one of the trials he had recently attended:

“Ah yes, it was a fine trial. Let’s see if I can remember it… If I recall there were three defendants. Each of them made one statement accusing one of the others, I think, but I’m afraid I can’t remember who accused whom. Can you work out who was guilty?”

“Of course not!” you reply. “You haven’t told me anything yet! Could you at least tell me who lied and who told the truth?”

“Hmmm... Interesting that you should ask that. When I was describing the trial to the Red King he asked me the same question. When I told him the answer, he worked it out. Unfortunately I’ve now quite forgotten what I said.”

“Well, I guess it’s hopeless for me then…” you sigh.

“Interesting that you should say that, too. When I was describing the trial to Humpty Dumpty he asked me the same question, and when I told him I had forgotten what I told the Red King, he too claimed to be at a loss. But then he asked me another question, I can't quite remember what, but when I told him the answer he was able to solve it. I think he either asked me whether two consecutive statements were true, or whether two consecutive statements were false. Unfortunately I can neither remember which one he asked, nor what I answered. I think I’ve given you quite enough information now though, so tell me: who was guilty?”

    Adapted from Raymond Smullyan's Alice in Puzzleland

See The Solution Submitted by Sam    
Rating: 4.3846 (13 votes)

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Question Faulty logic? | Comment 12 of 13 |

Perhaps I'm reading the puzzle incorrectly, but if the three defendants each accused one other person, the Red King could have worked out who was guilty if all three were liars.

In the case of 3 liars, the guilty person would be the one who had not been accused.  No liar could truthfully accuse the guilty party, and none of them implicated themselves, so we cannot eliminate the posiblity that all three were liars based on the Red King's ability to solve the problem.

Please enlighten me on this 'cause it's driving me nuts.

  Posted by Erik on 2004-06-04 19:00:23
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