Evil King Raymond and the White Knight

Jul 19, 2004

RAY: This puzzler comes from the days of knights and kings and fair maidens and...

TOM: women named Rowena?

RAY: There you go. Turns out that the fair maiden Rowena wishes to wed. Her father, the evil king--

TOM: --Raymond!--

RAY: --has devised a way to drive off suitors. He has a little quiz for them. Here it is. It's very simple. There are three boxes on the table. One is made of gold. One is made of silver. And the third is made of...

TOM: Tofu?

RAY: No, lead. Inside one of these boxes is a picture of the fair Rowena. It is the job of the white Knight, to figure out which one has her picture, without opening them, of course.

To assist him in this endeavor there are inscriptions on each of the boxes. The gold box says, "Rowena's picture is in this box." The silver box says, "The picture ain't in this box." The lead box says, "The picture ain't in the gold box."

TOM: Where's the picture?

RAY: That's the question. And the King gives the Knight a hint. The hint is, one of the statements, and only one, is true.

So where's the picture?
TOM: The inscription on the gold box cannot be true, because if it is, then the inscription on the silver box must also be true.

RAY: And that can't happen.

TOM: So, the statement on the third box, the lead box, is the only one that can be true. I love it!

RAY: The statement on the third box is the only one that can be true. The first one must be false, and the second box, which says, "Rowena's picture is not in this box," is also false, which means that her picture is in that box!

TOM: The silver box. I love it.

RAY: Who's our winner?

TOM: The winner is Greg Frye from Scottsdale, Arizona. For having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers, Greg gets a $25 gift certificate to the Car Talk Shameless Commerce Division.

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