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Life or Death (Posted on 2003-06-29) Difficulty: 3 of 5
You've been sentenced to death in an obscure foreign country which has a strange law. Before the sentence is carried out, two papers -- one with "LIFE" written on it and one with "DEATH" written on it -- are folded up and placed in a hat. You are permitted to pick out one of the papers (without looking), and if you choose the one with "LIFE" written on it, you are set free. Otherwise, the death sentence is carried out. But someone has substituted the paper with "LIFE" written on it with another one with "DEATH" written on it. You are informed by this person of what he has done and that you are doomed to die. You are not permitted to speak to anyone about this misdeed, nor will you have a chance to switch the papers yourself in time.

How will you avoid death?

See The Solution Submitted by luvya    
Rating: 3.1111 (18 votes)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
Trick the prisoner | Comment 21 of 32 |
Most importantly, since everyone's heard of this answer, if you were the guy who wants you killed you would replace both papers with life, and then tell the prisoner the story above. The prisoner will then happily eat one of the papers, confident that he has tricked everyone, only to be sent to his death...

PS, The solution to pick out the label of the hat is also good. I wonder what they'd do with "Do not machine wash"?
  Posted by sam on 2003-09-08 13:45:33
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