BrainDen.com - Brain Teasers

# Crocodile Sophism

## Recommended Posts

mother says :"then I guess you won't eat him" therefore guessing the childs fate the croc must give him back..its her guess thats seemed to matter

• Replies 309
• Created

#### Popular Days

This is simple in my eyes because if she says "you shall do something with him." then at that instant he must give the child back bacause if he goes to eat the child he is starting the attempt to eat the child therefor he is doing something with the child giving the child back to the mother. Sorry for the run on sentence all you grammer people.

Guessing that the croc will eat him will end in niether of the resualts from happening. THe mother goes without a child and the croc without food

##### Share on other sites

splintercat had it the closest to correct, but is incorrect in saying that the crocodile will logically give back the child. Given that the question is, "what can the mother say to save her child", the correct response is "the crocodile will eat the child". This guarantees the child saved, because (like splintercat explained) the crocodile cannot eat the child, proving the mother's guess correct. However, the crocodile does not have to give back the child, because he only said he would return the child if she guesses correctly. If she guesses that the crocodile will eat the child, and he doesn't, then she is incorrect and the child shall not be returned.

You see, given this response, the child is stuck in a state of infinite limbo - in the crocodile's possession, but not eaten. In this sense, the child is "saved" from being killed. Only until the mother gives a different answer that is not "the crocodile will eat the child" will the crocodile actually eat the child.

she will never get the child back if she obeys the crocodile's logical puzzle.

##### Share on other sites

edit: she can get the child back if she says "the child will die." this cannot be wrong; therefore, the croc must return the child. however, this has nothing to do with the question, what can she do to save the child from being eaten. It is simply another correct answer in addition to:

- you will eat the child

- you will do something with the child

- you will touch the child

- you will do "something that you will prove correct by eating the child"

the only difference is that these four examples end in limbo. the croc doesn't have to return the child, becuase he still hasn't proved the mother right!

##### Share on other sites

He never said she had to guess correctly. All she has to do is guess what he'll do to her child and she'll get him back.

##### Share on other sites

He never said she had to guess correctly. All she has to do is guess what he'll do to her child and she'll get him back.

actually, it was edited long time ago as follows:

"... guess (Edited: predict the fate = guess correctly) ..."

##### Share on other sites

Remember: this is an ancient beast more known for clamping down and rolling around in muddy pools of water than for it's scholarly dissertations on high energy physics.

If he can talk and make up sophisms, he is no regular crocodile.

Ok, here is the long, long list of options. (they get more obscure as you go down)

1: If she says: You will eat him- she creates a parodox for the crocodile

Option A: She was right- he will eat him- since she's right he must return him NOPE

Option B: She was wrong- he won't eat him- since she was wrong he will eat him NOPE

The only way out of this parodox I can see is:

She was right that he will eat him, so he eats him. But since she is right, the baby must be returned. So the crocodile eats the baby, spits him back up, and gives the remains to mom. THIS IS DEFINATELY NOT A GOOD SOLUTION

2: If she says: You will give him back- The crocodile has a choice

Option A: She was right- he will give him back- because she was right, he gives back the baby CROCODILE COULD CHOOSE THIS

Option B: She was wrong- he will not give him back- because she was wrong, he must eat the baby THE CROCODILE COULD CHOOSE THIS

Since the crocodile probably wants to eat the baby anyway, he's likely to choose Option b THIS DEPENDS ON THE KIND HEART OF THE CROCODILE- NOT THE BEST PLAN

3: If she says: You will do nothing - he would eat the baby

Option A: She was right- he will do nothing- since she was right he must do something (must give the child back) DOESN'T WORK

Option B: She was wrong- he won't do nothing (he will do something)- since she was wrong, he would eat the baby THIS WORKS

Since he's probably happy with Option B, he would stop looking for other possibilities.

4: If she says: You will do something- He gives back the baby

Option A: She was right- he will do something- since she was right he will give back the baby THIS WORKS

Option B: She was wrong- he will not do something (he will do nothing)- since she was right he must give back the baby DOESN"T WORK

If the crocodile is as clever as he is in folklore he can probably think of another option, but with only these 2 options he must give back the baby.

5. If she says: You will die of starvation- he will abandon the baby (if he needs to prove it)

Option A: She was right- he will die of starvation- THIS WORKS, because he would try to prove that she was wrong, but until he did he couldn't eat the baby, but he wouldn't want to leave the baby ungarded while he hunts, so he keeps the baby in his mouth and stands there, eventually dieing of starvation because he doesn't eat

Option B: She was wrong- he will not die of starvation- THIS KINDA WORKS, because he could die of other causes.... but he would have to prove it before he ate the baby, so he would have to either be attacked or commit suiside, and of course once he was dead he couldn't eat the baby HE PROBABLY WOULDN'T CHOOSE THIS

Once he has abandoned the baby the mom could rescue the baby

6. She says: ________ (anything, it doesn't matter what)- he may have been lying

Option A: He follows the logic options and gives the baby back, eats him, or remains stuck in a limbo

Option B: He eats the baby regardless of the logic... it's what he does in the folklore anyways

7. If she says: You will do something I don't expect- she saves the baby from being eaten but she doesn't nessisarily get him back

Option A: She's right- he will do something she doesn't expect- but since the original statement is what she expects... DOESN'T WORK

Option B: She's wrong- he won't do anything she doesn't expect- he can't eat the baby because the reason she says the original answer is because she expects that this very theory is true THIS WOULD KEEP HIMM FROM EATING HIM, BUT NOT FORCE HIM TO GIVE BACK THE BACK

I'm sure there are many other ways, but I'm hungry, I've been typing this list for an hour. after 1/2 hour of non- eating all my teenage brain can think is NEED FOOD............

##### Share on other sites

He never said she had to guess correctly. All she has to do is guess what he'll do to her child and she'll get him back.

actually, it was edited long time ago as follows:

"... guess (Edited: predict the fate = guess correctly) ..."

I don't think editing paradoxes/ sophisms / whatnot really counts.... the crocodile didn't get a chance to reword it once he was tricked, did he?

If you want to reword all these famous brainteasers you are really cutting down the use of creative thinking... instead say, "you could do that, you got it right. now try this new but similar paradox, it has new wording so you have to think up a new answer"

##### Share on other sites

He never said she had to guess correctly. All she has to do is guess what he'll do to her child and she'll get him back.

actually, it was edited long time ago as follows:

"... guess (Edited: predict the fate = guess correctly) ..."

I don't think editing paradoxes/ sophisms / whatnot really counts.... the crocodile didn't get a chance to reword it once he was tricked, did he?

If you want to reword all these famous brainteasers you are really cutting down the use of creative thinking... instead say, "you could do that, you got it right. now try this new but similar paradox, it has new wording so you have to think up a new answer"

the sophism was just incorrectly translated into English language ... I know all the brain teasers/paradoxes in Slovak language and try to translate them into English language the best I can

##### Share on other sites

The mother said, "You will eat him."

If that wasn't a correct guess, he'd eat him..making it true. So, therefore, the crocodile must return the child.

##### Share on other sites

Pretty simple, crocodile just asked to guess what he would do with the child, so it need not be correct.. so let the mother guess what ever it is... once guess the crocy should return the child...

##### Share on other sites

Azalyn - actually u r right..

##### Share on other sites

The woman should answer, "You will eat him." This ensures that the croc will not eat the child. Whatever happens after that is anticlimatic.

##### Share on other sites

"Considerable variation exists throughout the range of the Nile crocodile. Generally, it is a large crocodilian, averaging 5 m in length but reportedly reaching 6 m in rare instances. There are dubious reports of 7 m animals having existed, but these are hard to verify"................. so the statement that " a skinny croc" would or, at least should be a young croc, and would not go after a child to begin with.. null and void....non-issue....would never happen. secondly if it was a skinny juvinile croc.....

"juveniles are generally restricted to eating small aquatic invertebrates and insects, they soon move onto larger vertebrates (fish, amphibians and reptiles). Adults, however, can potentially take a wide range of large vertebrates, including antelope, buffalo, young hippos, and large cats"

just a thought

##### Share on other sites

Assuming that there are only two possible fates available i.e.The crocodile will eat the child OR the crocodile will return the child.

Assuming that the crocodile has already decided the fate of the child.

Assuming the crocodile is telling the truth and will keep his promise.

Therefore:

The mother should state that the crocodile will return the child unharmed.

IF the crocodile has already decided that it will eat the child, the mother will be wrong. In any case, the crocodile would have eaten the child in any case.

IF the crocodile has already decided that he will return the child, then the mother will be correct, and the child will be returned.

##### Share on other sites

Alright, I know this is the answer for sure. If the mother says to the croc, "You will eat my child," she will get her child back. If the croc was planning on eating the child, the child would be returned to the mother. If not, her statement would be wrong, and the croc would have to eat the child, but if he did this, her statement would be proven correct, and the croc would have to give the child back.

There is a similar puzzle to this in which a man is to make a last statement before he is killed. If is statement is true, he is boiled in water, if the statement is false, he's fried in oil. So in order to stay alive, he says, "You will fry me in oil."

##### Share on other sites

• 3 weeks later...

The way I see it is the mother is too stressed to realize that all she has to do is guess to save her child and the crocodile is taking advantage of that. So she will probably say that the Crocodile is going to eat her baby (because thatâ€™s what she would probably assume based on the fact that it took her child.) So that leaves two things to happen.

1) The crocodile returns the child

2) Based on the fact that since itâ€™s a slim crocodile it probably will eat the child. In which case sheâ€™ll be correct so the crocodile will have the return the childâ€¦ probably out the other end because Iâ€™m pretty sure it doesnâ€™t have a gag reflex(Assuming it eats the child right then and there in one piece) . Also it never says the crocodile will return the child unharmed or in one pieceâ€¦

Or at least thatâ€™s what I think.

##### Share on other sites

Won't this reply make the crocodile give the baby back?

"I guess that you will give me back my baby, if this guess i correct!"

He can't do anything but give back her baby, because the reply is correct either way.

##### Share on other sites

Jeez. This isn't a paradox. Watch. The croc said she had to guess what the crocodile was going to do to the kid, then he'd return him. If she didn't guess, he'd eat him. Thus:

The solution would be to say anything. Any guess would satisfy the crocodile. He did not say "I will eat him IF YOU FAIL TO GUESS CORRECTLY," or "I will return him IF YOU GUESS IT RIGHT."

If the crocodile is as intelligent as the "paradox" says he is, and assuming we are given only the facts the paradox provides us with, and no more, no less, then the crocodile planned a kind of trick challenge where no matter what the woman said, she would get the child back anyway. End of story. (It's a logical explanation, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.)

##### Share on other sites

Jeez. This isn't a paradox. Watch. The croc said she had to guess what the crocodile was going to do to the kid, then he'd return him. If she didn't guess, he'd eat him. Thus:

The solution would be to say anything. Any guess would satisfy the crocodile. He did not say "I will eat him IF YOU FAIL TO GUESS CORRECTLY," or "I will return him IF YOU GUESS IT RIGHT."

If the crocodile is as intelligent as the "paradox" says he is, and assuming we are given only the facts the paradox provides us with, and no more, no less, then the crocodile planned a kind of trick challenge where no matter what the woman said, she would get the child back anyway. End of story. (It's a logical explanation, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.)

I wrote this in December but I am getting used to repeat it every now and then ... so here it goes ...

actually, it was edited long time ago as follows:

"... guess (Edited: predict the fate = guess correctly) ..."

##### Share on other sites

I wrote this in December but I am getting used to repeat it every now and then ... so here it goes ...

actually, it was edited long time ago as follows:

"... guess (Edited: predict the fate = guess correctly) ..."

Of course, if the guess has to be right, the woman can say, "you will put him in your mouth." thus:

in the unlikely event that the croc just wants to put the kid in his mouth without swallowing him, thus making the guess right: he would give the child back

in the more likely event that the guess was wrong: the croc would put the child in his mouth, preparing to eat him, thus making the statement true, forcing him to return him.

OR: You can just agree with one of the provious posts that says: "You will die of starvation." as the right choice.

The crocodile will be forced to prove whether he would die of starvation BEFORE he eats the baby, thus eventually dying of any natural cause, leaving the baby lying in his mouth, practically unharmed. This is assuming that the croc is, again, as intelligent as he is in the given paradox, and not on modern data about the crocodile.

Edited by Creed_Angelus
##### Share on other sites

Why couldn't she say:

You will give my baby back to me, or you will not give him back to me.

Either way she is correct. And he merely by not returning the child the croc makes her correct (meaning he doesn't have to eat the baby to prove her right, thus defeating the purpose unless the lady wants a dead chewed up kid <_< )

##### Share on other sites

Crocodile Sophism - Back to the Paradoxes

A slim crocodile living in Nile took a child. Mother begged to give him back. The crocodile could not only talk, he was also a great sophist, and so he stated: "If you guess (Edited: predict the fate = guess correctly), what I will do with him, I will return him. However, if you don't guess his fate I'll eat him." What statement shall the mother make to save her child (what about a vicious circle ...)?

By saying "You will kill the baby " , she will not get it back , nor the crocodile will eat it or kill it . But if she says "The baby will somewhen die " then she is right . If the baby is given back to her will somewhen die . The croc cannot eat the baby because if he does then it means that the baby will never die . If the baby will never die , then the croc cannot eat it .

##### Share on other sites

The crocodile is any way going to eat the child.. wheather the mother says hes going to live or die. ( dint u say the croc was slim) n there are possibilities of slim croc being hungry.

##### Share on other sites

You would give me the child unless your hungry you will eat him.

## Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.