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#1068920 - Mon Oct 13 2014 04:20 AM Scheherazade
baldhair Offline
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Registered: Tue Aug 05 2014
Posts: 81
Loc: Gloucestershire UK
1. As everyone knows, Shahryar (the King of Kings), who seemed not to trust women, took a new wife each day and had her beheaded next morning. Scheherazade was the daughter of the King's vizier, and one day she volunteered to spend that night with the King. Scheherazade was a very clever lady, and postponed her execution each day by telling the King stories, ending each one at dawn with a cliffhanger. But after 1001 nights, she ran out of stories. She didn't really believe that the King would have her beheaded, but she decided that she had to make sure. She had ready a little problem for him, which turned out to be just as well, because he was looking for entertainment. And he was apt to turn nasty if he didn't get it. The little puzzle she offered him was this:

A certain sheik named Hassan had eight horses. Four of them were black, three were white, and one was brown. How many of Hassan's horses can each say that it is the same colour as another of Hassan's horses?

2. "Well," said the King the next night, "I solved that one all right. How's Hassan getting on with his horses?" "His horses are fine," replied Scheherazade. "And he also has a mule. One day he met three boys who asked him what was its colour. "The mule is either black, brown or gray," said Hassan. "You make some guesses, and when we've had enough, I'll tell you some things about the guesses, and we'll see if you can work it out."
The first boy said, "I'll guess it's not black."
"I'll guess that it's either brown or gray", said the second.
"And I'll guess that it's brown", said the third.
"Right," said Hassan, "that's enough guesses. Now then. At least one of you is right, and at least one of you is wrong."

What colour is Hassan's mule?
(Adapted from Raymond Smullyan's "The Riddle of Scheherazade".)

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#1068929 - Mon Oct 13 2014 06:07 AM Re: Scheherazade
kaddarsgirl Offline
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Loc: Ohio USA
The mule is gray.
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#1068934 - Mon Oct 13 2014 06:47 AM Re: Scheherazade
ren33 Offline
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My maths teachers would say
"So? Show the steps!"
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#1068939 - Mon Oct 13 2014 06:58 AM Re: Scheherazade
deputygary Offline
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Registered: Thu May 24 2007
Posts: 283
Loc: South Dakota USA
1. None of the horses can say they are the same color as one of the other horses because horses can't talk. They are all hoarse. smile
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#1068941 - Mon Oct 13 2014 07:00 AM Re: Scheherazade
deputygary Offline
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Registered: Thu May 24 2007
Posts: 283
Loc: South Dakota USA
2. If the horse was black. all three would be wrong but at least one is right.
If the horse was brown, all three would be right but at least one is wrong.
Therefore, ergo and ipso facto, the horse must be grey.
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#1068983 - Mon Oct 13 2014 10:41 AM Re: Scheherazade
kaddarsgirl Offline
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Registered: Wed Jun 27 2012
Posts: 1836
Loc: Ohio USA
Originally Posted By: deputygary
2. If the horse was black. all three would be wrong but at least one is right.
If the horse was brown, all three would be right but at least one is wrong.
Therefore, ergo and ipso facto, the horse must be grey.


Yes, this. I was in a hurry this morning and didn't have time to write out the steps.
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#1069009 - Mon Oct 13 2014 12:38 PM Re: Scheherazade
MiraJane Offline
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Registered: Tue Apr 30 2013
Posts: 1447
Loc: New York USA
Even with the steps, mules are gray. It is simply what color mules are.

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#1069104 - Tue Oct 14 2014 03:53 AM Re: Scheherazade
baldhair Offline
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Registered: Tue Aug 05 2014
Posts: 81
Loc: Gloucestershire UK
Yes indeed, kaddarsgirl and gary, both answers correct. No. 1 gave me a bit of a headache for a while - Smullyan just didn't do anything so obvious. But this time he did. And MiraJane, you're quite right, but I don't think that we should try to relate these little puzzles to the real world. Anyway, thanks for your time.

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#1069115 - Tue Oct 14 2014 05:58 AM Re: Scheherazade
deputygary Offline
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Registered: Thu May 24 2007
Posts: 283
Loc: South Dakota USA
Actually mules can be black, brown or gray. We have mules here and I've seen all 3 colors.
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