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The Prisoners, the Warden and the Hats

The Puzzler


TOM: His hat was white. He knew because the other two guys didn't know what color hats they were each wearing.


RAY: That's right. Because the back prisoner said nothing, he must have seen either two white hats or a black and a white hat in front of him.

Now, if the prisoner in the middle had seen a black hat in front of him, he would have known that he was wearing a white hat. Why's that? Because if he had a black hat on, then the guy who was in the back would have known that his own hat was white, and he would have spoken up when he had his chance.

The prisoner in the front knew his own hat was white, because there were only two black hats available to the warden.


TOM: Exactly.

Because the prisoner in the back and the middle didn't say anything, then the prisoner in the front knew he had a white hat.

He's going to be home for Christmas. So who's our winner?


TOM: The winner this week is Charlie Brown from Brookville, Pennsylvania. And for having his answer selected at random from among all those correct answers that we got too, Charlie is going to get from us a $26 gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at Car Talk.com where he can get our new CD called "Maternal Combustion, Calls about Moms and Cars."

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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