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 The prisoners and the beans (Posted on 2005-11-27)
Five prisoners are going to take beans from a bag with 100 beans. They will do it one prisoner at a time, and only once each. No communication is allowed between them, but they can count the beans left in the bag. All prisoners who end with the largest and the smallest number of beans will die.

Who is most likely to survive?

Assume:
1. they are all smart people.
2. they will try to survive first and then try to kill more people.
3. they do not need to take out all the 100 beans.

 See The Solution Submitted by pcbouhid Rating: 3.8000 (15 votes)

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 re(3):(by pcbouhid): | Comment 28 of 38 |
(In reply to re(2):(by pcbouhid): by Eric)

We are reasoning in a different way.

It doesnīt matter if the prisoners know or donīt know their position to take beans. The assumption that they all are likely smart people, destroys any reasoning based on their order.

Whoever is the first one to take beans will reason the same way as any other, and figure out that he has no survival strategy, and will kill them all.

And, as I stated, and support, this is not a problem to be solved by simulation of all the possible events (using combinatorics).

 Posted by pcbouhid on 2005-12-08 06:38:57

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