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Saturday, October 2, 2010


Q: There are two Indian tribes in Montana. One is the Whitefeet, who always tell the truth. The other is the Blackfeet, who always lie. You are hiking, and come to a fork in the road. Down one path lies the treasure you've been looking for, and down the other, a man-eating grizzly and certain death. An Indian stands at the fork in the road, but you don't know which tribe he's from. You get to ask him one question to find out which path to take. What question do you ask him?

I pretty much ruined a dinner party the other night by posing this riddle. All conversation stopped and everybody spent the rest of their meal trying to get the answer.

If you want the answer, scroll down:

You ask the Indian, "If you were a member of the other tribe, and I were to ask you which is the safe path, what would you tell me?" Then, whichever path he indicates, take the other one. Because a Whitefoot would tell you the truth about a Blackfoot's lie, and a Blackfoot would lie about the Whitefoot's honest answer, so whichever tribe the fellow you're talking to is from, he'll give you the wrong answer.


Hess said...

Who was at dinner? This is a rather easy one to figure out. Your other riddle I recall solving in the 1st grade.

Here is a truly hard logic puzzle:

Three gods A, B, and C are called, in some order, True, False, and Random. True always speaks truly, False always speaks falsely, but whether Random speaks truly or falsely is a completely random matter. Your task is to determine the identities of A, B, and C by asking three yes-no questions; each question must be put to exactly one god. The gods understand English, but will answer all questions in their own language, in which the words for yes and no are 'da' and 'ja', in some order. You do not know which word means which.

John Craig said...

Hess IV --You must have been as obnoxious in first grade as you are now.