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Honestants and Swindlecants III.


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45 replies to this topic

#21 samiam

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 03:30 AM

You all are making this waaay too complicated. I would ask the guard, either one (it does not matter which), which door he/she would prefer to walk through if he/she were in my shoes. There was only one person that replied that agrees with me on this. Everyone wants to live, even if you are a liar.
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#22 Martini

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 08:50 PM

You all are making this waaay too complicated. I would ask the guard, either one (it does not matter which), which door he/she would prefer to walk through if he/she were in my shoes. There was only one person that replied that agrees with me on this. Everyone wants to live, even if you are a liar.


And what are you to do if the guard you ask answers "I'd pick the door on the left"?
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#23 catfishrob

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Posted 28 August 2007 - 07:00 AM

You all are making this waaay too complicated. I would ask the guard, either one (it does not matter which), which door he/she would prefer to walk through if he/she were in my shoes. There was only one person that replied that agrees with me on this. Everyone wants to live, even if you are a liar.



If you asked the honestant, he would give you the right door. If you asked the swindlecat, he'd give you the wrong one. That works except for one tiny detail.... you don't know which is a swindlecat and which is an honestant. Therefore you would not know whether the guard you asked was pointing to the right or wrong door. Which basically means you're no better off than you were before. In fact, that method is entirely random. Well, at least you'd have a 50% chance.... but I wouldn't count on my luck.
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#24 TheRantingGeek

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Posted 31 August 2007 - 08:59 AM

My brother-in-law asked me a similar riddle years ago.

You have recently died, and instead of ascending into Heaven or Purgatory, you find yourself standing in front of two doors. In front of each door stands a guard. Both guards are identical-looking, as both doors are identical-looking. A voice speaks to you from out of nowhere informing you that one door leads to Heaven, and the other door leads to Hell. One guard always tells the truth, and one guard always lies. You must determine which door is which, and which guard is which, but you are allowed to only ask one question to one guard and it must pertain to the doors.

What question do you ask one of the guards?


Compare that riddle to the original one posted here...

Our gringo displeased the sovereign with his intrusive questions and was condemned to death. But there was also a chance to save himself by solving the following logic problem. The gringo was shown two doors - one leading to a scaffold and the second one to freedom (both doors were the same) and only the door guards knew what was behind the doors. The sovereign let the gringo put one question to one guard. And because the sovereign was an honest man he warned that exactly one guard is a Swindlecant.
What question can save the gringo's life?


The answer is simple. You walk up to either guard (doesn't matter which) and you ask the following question - "If I were to ask the other guard which door leads to freedom, which door would he point to?", then you take the opposite door. Here's why.

Suppose the guard on the left is the Honestant, and he stands in front of the door that leads to freedom. Mind you, you don't know which guard is which, nor which door is which. You ask him which door the other guard (presuming the other is the Swindlecant) would point to that leads to freedom, the Honestant would tell you the other guard would point to the door on the right, which, of course, is a lie - that door leads to the scaffold. Likewise, suppose the guard on the left is the Swindlecant, and the door he stands in front of is the door to freedom. You ask him which door would the other guard point to, and he would tell you the other guard would point to the door on the right - again, that's a lie because the Honestant would tell you otherwise.

Now let's reverse it. Suppose the guard on the right is the Honestant, and the door he stands in front of is the door to the scaffold. You ask the question - he'd tell you the other guard would point to the door on the right - an outright lie on the other guard's part.

Regardless of the answer you're told, always take the opposite door.

Such amazingly simple logic that always seems to confound those of us whom try to sort it out...
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#25 dannyboy

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 12:06 AM

can't you just say like to one of them like, what color is my shoes? and if they say the wrong one you know they're lying. Then go to the other one and say which door will lead to freedom. And vice versa...
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#26 Martini

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 04:29 AM

can't you just say like to one of them like, what color is my shoes? and if they say the wrong one you know they're lying. Then go to the other one and say which door will lead to freedom. And vice versa...


Welcome to the boards, dannyboy. Nope, that won't work. You can only ask one question to one guard.
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#27 hoopshank

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 09:54 AM


What if you asked a guard "Which door would the other guard would want me to pick?"

The honestant guard would point to the door leading to the scaffold; and the Swindlecant would point to the same door, but that is assuming that the honestant doesn't want to see you die.



Fenix, that's the indirect question, only you said it in plainer English




I don't think you can assume that the Honestant wants you to live. After all, you have offended the sovereign. I don't think you can equate honesty with unquestioning goodwill.

Neither should you assume that the Swindlecant wants you to die. He may be a liar but have a loathing for the death penalty. Even if you could equate constant lying with general nastiness, then he might be pleased with you for insulting the sovereign - heading into that whole paradoxical area again.

So, sorry, but I don't think this question works.
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#28 S-_8989

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Posted 04 December 2007 - 04:26 PM

Guys..... What color is the sky? What is 2+2? What is my name? Is it raining out, sunny out?....etc. A lie is a lie. If a Swindlecant "ALWAYS" lies, then you do the math.
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#29 MAD

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 12:22 AM

rookie1ja: the "tricky question" assumes that one guard is in front of each door, which isn't stated in the riddle. If the door guards are simply assigned to guard both doors together yet can stand wherever they want, then they could both be standing in front of one door (or even sitting in a bulletproof guard booth that is in front of neither door) and the "tricky question" yields no useful response.
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#30 rookie1ja

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 03:09 PM

rookie1ja: the "tricky question" assumes that one guard is in front of each door, which isn't stated in the riddle. If the door guards are simply assigned to guard both doors together yet can stand wherever they want, then they could both be standing in front of one door (or even sitting in a bulletproof guard booth that is in front of neither door) and the "tricky question" yields no useful response.

right, but I guess it wouldn't be a problem for you to adjust the tricky question even for such cases, would it?
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