September 15, 2005

Riddle Me This

One of the youngsters taught me this great riddle.
  • 4 soldiers were captured and buried up to their necks, facing a brick wall, with hats on their heads as shown:

In order to be released, one soldier must say one word, and one word only: The color of the hat atop his own head.


Each soldier can only see what is in front of them.

  • A sees the wall.
  • B sees the wall.
  • C sees B and the wall.
  • D sees B, C, and the wall.

  • Nobody can see their own hat, only the hats on top of the people in front of them.
  • They know there are two hats of each color, but not the color of their own hat.
  • All they know is what they see.
  • The soldiers are told that they must guess the color of the hat on their own head.
  • The captors will accept only the first answer that they hear yelled out.
  • There is to be no discussion or multiple guessing.
  • The soldiers are instructed that if any of them speaks, except for yelling out the color of the hat on his OWN head, they will all be instantly killed!
  • If one soldier yells out the color of the hat on his own head, and is correct, they will all go free.
  • They are given two minutes.
  • The captors start the timer.
  • A minute and a half goes by, and then one of the soldiers does in fact yell out the correct color.

Which soldier is it, and how did he know?

Don't give up too easily. When you have exhausted yourself, click here for the answer.

20 comments:

Spinning Girl said...

It isn't D.

R. Scott Bonnell said...

Overload........... overload.. does not compute....... does not compute....... ok ok... i'll guess and this is only a guess mind you..... 4

Harry Yak said...

did i mention that i like pumpkin pie?

Sis B said...

I labored over this for quite some time before I called in the backup of my bf, who figured the sucker out in 30 seconds, that rat bastard.

Awesome riddle. Thank the kiddies for us.

LBseahag said...

that was painful....clods of hair are on my floor...and i still got it wrong....

404 Error...

Sleep Goblin said...

You have pretty handwriting.

mr_g said...

I'm usually good at this stuff, but right now my brain is mush. Now where do they bury the survivors anyhow?

Warren said...

I actually timed myself and got it well under two minutes. I always feel good after stuff like this.

Warren said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Heather said...

You need a warning.. Tired people turn away now. That hurt my brain.. But I got it anyway! Great riddle :)

FRITZ said...

Wait a sec...am I just totally blonde, or what? D is seeing B and C, but B and C have different color hats! So how does he know which color he's wearing? Or, does he not know about A? And even then, how could he be sure? And why are they buried anyway? Wouldn't captive soldiers just get shot, or something?

This is why my father always got exasperated with me when I needed help on LSAT. My God, this isn't fun, this is TORTURE!!!

Serena said...

I am terrible at things like this and after have a few 'down the pub, it is impossible. I am okay with that ;)

babyjewels said...

Err. I guessed D thinking D could see the pattern. I knew the answer was deeper than that. I'm just not deeper than that! Good one SG

Sleep Goblin said...

OMG!! I love Edward Gorey!!!

B.O.B.I. said...

How does C know D is behind him? They only know what they see, so to C, there could be two people behind the wall or two people behind him.
If I'd known they knew the placement of the soldiers, this would've been much easier.

Still fun, though.

Warren said...

At first glance I figured it would be D as the correct answer. Then when I saw it agian I realized that none of them could have known what the true color of their hats. D knows the color of B and C's hats but does not know the color of A's hat. Therefor D's hat could be either white or black. To prove this just simply swap hats with A and D. Then try and explain it. BOOOYA!

Warren said...

WOW! I just took a second and read the real answer. Now I feel like a massive tool. I'm really sorry. really really sorry.

MyManMisterC said...

I STUMP EVERYONE WITH THIS ONE

Here's another.

There are 3 American Presidents who have all shared the same name.

One has had it as his first name
One has had it as his middle name
One has had is as his last name.

What is the name and who are the presidents?

ShiningWeavile888 said...

The answer is obvious! C is the one who yells out the answer because D did not get it. Here's how it is:

D can see both C and B along with the colour of their hats, if say both C and B had the same colour of hats, D would shout of the colour that they did not have (sine they knew their were two colours of hats). Since D kept silent B knew that he and A had different coloured hats and could see A had a white hat, therefore shouted out that he had a black hat.

Anonymous said...

The answer is obvious! C is the one who yells out the answer because D did not get it. Here's how it is:

D can see both C and B along with the colour of their hats, if say both C and B had the same colour of hats, D would shout of the colour that they did not have (sine they knew their were two colours of hats). Since D kept silent B knew that he and A had different coloured hats and could see A had a white hat, therefore shouted out that he had a black hat.