small medium large xlarge

Back to: All Forums  PragPub

I’m having a few problems with parsing the new quiz…

1) Tim is asked, “Are there more than two players who have the same total?” He answers, “Yes.”

There are four totals, including yours (which you don’t know). The other totals are: Jeff: 2+4+8 = 14 Tim: 4+5+8 = 17 Mike: 1+5+5 = 11

For Tim to know that more than two players have the same total, all three of you, Jeff, and Mike would have to have the same total. This is impossible, so either Tim is a lying cheat or the Quiz has an issue.

2) Jeff asks how it’s possible that both Tim and he have an 8 of spades, but he shouldn’t be able to see his own cards, so how would he know? Only “you” and Mike should be able to ask that question, and you already understand the multiple deck concept. Was the question meant to be asked by Mike, or is Jeff also a lying cheat?

3) Tim interrupts that he knows what he has, but you then contemplate that Jeff is a smart guy and wouldn’t bluff. Was it meant to be Jeff that interrupted? It seems unlikely to be either, as they have each only learned one new piece of information each while Mike and you have each gained two (one each from Tim and Jeff’s answers).

I think two and three could be resolved if Mike asked the question about different even numbers and commented that Tim and Jeff both have eights of spades, then Jeff announced that he knows his cards. Still can’t reconcile the first question, though.

The questions in this quiz are: # for Jeff: Are there more than two players who have the same total? (Answer: Yes) # for Tim: How many different even numbers do you see on the cards? (Answer: Four)

I have found the original quiz, the questions are somewhat different there: # for Jeff: Are there two or more players who have the same total? (Answer: Yes) # for Tim: Of the four even numbers, how many different even numbers do you see? (Answer: All of them) # The “hint” with the 8 of spades does not appear in the original quiz

This made it easier to solve the problem, but still, I have two possible solutions. The original author describes only one possible solution. Looking at his website and his puzzles and essays, he seems a very bright head, which makes me wondering if it’s just me who’s wrong …

“two or more” would indeed solve the first issue.

I actually like the new way of phrasing the question about visible even numbers because it requires the reader to realize that there are only four different even numbers possible.

If they cleared up who it is that claims early victory, I think that piece of information may be sufficient to select one of the two solutions.

Well, seems I messed up a few things here: Jeff answers about the even numbers, Tim answers about the same total and Tim claims victory. This is different from the original where the questions are vice versa as in my first post, and where Jeff claims victory. Still two possible solutions as far as I can see …

Ah, that changes everything. I found the original as well… and now have a single unique solution.

For the benefit of those who come later, here is how the puzzle should go: * Jeff: “Do two or more players have the same total?” “Yes.” Tim: “How many of the even numbers can you see?” “Four.” Jeff: “I know what I have.”

You know Jeff would only claim victory if he was certain of it, so what do you have?*

The version in this month’s quiz made three errors 1) The first question is “two or more”, not “more than two”. 2) The discussion about the 8 of spades is impossible and irrelevant. 3) It’s Jeff who claims victory, not Tim.

Edit: Just re-read the original, and there’s a 4th error 4) Jeff, not Tim needs to ask/answer the first question, and Tim, not Jeff, needs to ask/answer the second.

No worries Michael… these things happen, especially when arbitrarily changing the names on a complicated puzzle. There is only one unique solution to the corrected problem.

Aargh! So sorry. A quiz can’t have errors. If it does, it ceases to be a diversion and becomes torture. Thank you, Radisav and Bevan, for the corrections. Indeed, I seem to have garbled who claims victory, and it should be “two or more,” not “more than two.” And the discussion about the 8 of Spades is irrelevant to solving the quiz. I hope I discover the second solution before I publish the answer next month!

You must be logged in to comment