Friday, April 21, 2023

Bonus riddle for our times


Yesterday I wrote about some brilliant narrative puzzle work in Naomi Novik's Scholomance Trilogy. This required some light logic puzzle researching on my part. But there was one puzzle I wanted to use in my post that didn't fit in, so I wanted to share it with you today just as I found it on the Internet:

A prisoner is told: "If you tell a lie, we will hang you, and if you tell the truth, we will shoot you." What did the prisoner say to save himself.

These are often called lateral thinking puzzles. Although people familiar with these kinds of riddles might recognize it as showing all the tell tale signs of being a more specific subset of that, the paradox puzzle. These are a bit different because they are designed to not have a solution. They have an answer, but not a solution. In this case the answer is:

The prisoner said "You will hang me."

It is not a solution because let's face it, the last ten years have been an illustration of the following:

Proving wrong people wrong doesn't work anymore.

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