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The Dilemma of a Prisoner part 2 (Posted on 2006-03-31) Difficulty: 2 of 5
As you are leaving from your previous ordeal, you notice that another convict is being taken to a jail cell. As you watch the guard and the convict go to the cell, they start talking.
"You do realize your rights, right?" says the guard.
The convict replies, "The judge said something strange, but I didn't understand it. What was it?"
"You are free to go anytime you like," declares the guard, "as long as you fulfill the required conditions. In your case, your door is secured with a ten-digit lock. If you can guess the right number, you are free to go."
"That's easy," says the prisoner. " I can just keep guessing numbers until I guess the right one."
"Even so," says the guard, "it would take you a hundred years to find the right number at the rate of one per second. Of course, you can always look for the hints we give you." He then points at you and proceeds to tell the new prisoner about your imprisonment.
"In addition to the normal...amenities, you have a desk and a scientific calculator. Good luck." The guard walks away.

You stand there for a few minutes before you realize that you can go. As you turn to leave, you notice that the new prisoner is walking up behind you.
"Wow, this place is great!" he says. "I only had to input one number!"

What number did he try?

No Solution Yet Submitted by SeaCalMaster    
Rating: 3.0000 (2 votes)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
overthinking the problem? Comment 16 of 16 |
I think there is too much extraneous information in the puzzle.  If the prisoner is faced with a ten-digit combination lock and has to guess the right number, can't he simply guess numbers 0-9, as the "right" number would be the single digit farthest to the right on the lock.  His exclamation that he had to only input ONE number seems the biggest real clue.  The question asks what number did he try, not what number was correct.  So I say he tried number 0...then number 1...then number 2...    
  Posted by todd on 2007-09-18 20:00:11
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