ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Three Wise Men Riddle

Updated on November 1, 2016

Once upon a time there lived a king who wanted to find an advisor who would help him with all the major decisions and solve difficult problems in the kingdom.

'Advisor to the King' was a very prestigious and lucrative position, and many people put themselves forward to apply for the role.

Finally the king (who was a bit of chauvinist, as kings were in those days) chose the three men he considered to be the wisest in the kingdom. To these men, he set a task to decide on which man would become his advisor.

He had the men put in a bare room furnished with just three wooden chairs, and blindfolded them. He then had a hat placed on each of the three men's heads.

The men, still blindfolded, were told the following:

"The hat that has been placed upon your head is either black or white. The one clue I will give you is that the hats are not all black. The three of you will now be left alone. When you know what color hat you are wearing, bang on the door and tell the guard. The first person to work out the color of his hat will be my new advisor."

Then the blindfolds were removed.

One of the men saw immediately that both the other men were wearing white hats, and that they both looked just as baffled and confused as he felt.

For three minutes, no-one spoke. Then, he rose and banged on the door. The guard answered.

The man said in a confident voice, "Please tell the King that the color of my hat is ... "

He was right. What color did he say?


Answer

Scroll down, as I don't want to give away the answer accidentally ...

...

...

...

Keep going ...

...

...

...

Nearly there ...

...

...

Okay!

The man said in a confident voice, "Please tell the king that the colour of my hat is WHITE."

The men had been told that the hats were not all black. This left three possibilities:

1. Two black hats and one white.
2. Two white hats and one black.
3. Three white hats.

The men realised that if there were two black hats and one white, one man would have seen two black hats. Knowing that not all the hats were black, that man would have guessed immediately that his hat was white. However, no-one said this, so that left the second two possibilities.

If there were two white hats and one black, the two men wearing white hats would have seen that someone else was wearing black, and immediately guessed that his hat was white. Again, no-one said this.

Our wise man realised that that only left one possibility - all the hats were white. He was right, and he got the job!



Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • fridayonmymind profile imageAUTHOR

      fridayonmymind 

      8 years ago

      Trsmd, you got the right answer! Congratulations, but I'm not going give away the answer here in case someone accidentally sees it and wants to work it out for herself :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)