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# An Unfamiliar, Familiar Riddle:

Posted on 2005-04-27
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Following your freedom from the prison you have landed in the city...

You have again been convicted and found guilty of an abominably horrendous crime. However, you have been at your best behavior so the warden decides to give you a chance at freedom. You've been brought into a hut in the forest with the warden. You have to pick the path to your freedom (the city) or you will follow a path that leads back to the shack where you will be tied completely so you cannot be moved and left. Once more, there are a few conditions:

1) It will be solved by either chance or intellect.
2) This time you're in a straightjacket and your legs are chained together so that you cannot make any large strides.
3) You may ask only one guard one question.
4) There are seven paths, each guarded by 2 guards.
5) The guards will either tell the truth or lie when asked.
6) The warden is behind you.
7) Once you have chosen a path, you must take it.
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Question by:Caudax

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Hi Caudax,

> 5) The guards will either tell the truth or lie when asked.
If that means any guard will tell only lies or only truth, then

If I were to ask you path to the city, which path would you indicate?

should work

Cheers!
sunnycoder
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OMG! The top 15 looks like a dagger!!

Sorry, sorry, OT. I'll post this in the lounge.
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synnycoder,

That DOESN'T mean the guard will only tell lies or truth, so you could still get a bad answer.
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>3) You may ask only one guard one question.

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well if the guards can lie or be truthfull at will, it wouldnt serve to ask any questions as no information recieved can be determined as usefull. i would start gnawing straps.
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well i take that back, you can ask one question, and theres a 50% chance of it being incorrect. take a chance i guess and point to a trail (with your nose or foot), and ask how many to the left or right is the trail to freedom. u got a 50% chance of him lying or you making it to freedom. i dont see any possibility of getting a 100% factual answer.

maybe you could argue that since they all work for the same prison, they are all equal which means they are 1 in the same and are all subject to answering your question since they are all "the guard". ask which trail is the correct one and take the majority vote.

or maybe you could ask a guard "if your a liar point to the trail to freedom, if you are truthfull, point to the trail to freedom."
heads i win, tails you lose.
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can you have your own body guard present ?
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"Which of these paths do not lead to freedom (the city)?"

A truthful guard would point to the 6 incorrect paths.  A lying guard would (hopefully, if my logic is correct) point only to the freedom path.
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if you ask the guard which door is the exit he will obviously lie because his boss (the warden) is standing right behind you and im sure he wouldnt appreciate you getting away
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Which paths will the liar tell me to take?
Liar points to correct path, the other will point to 6 wrong paths.

Which paths will the truthful guard tell me to take?
Truthful guard points to correct path, the other will point to 6 wrong paths.
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I will ask one of the guards, "If you will ask the other guard if this is the path to freedom, what will he say".  If the guard I asked is the liar and the answer is yes, then this is not the path to freedom because the other guard will be telling the truth and say "no" but since he is a liar, he will say "no".

If the guard tells the truth and answers yes, then this is still not the path to freedom because the one he asked is the liar and will say yes.

On the other hand, if the liar guard say no, then this is the path to freedom because the other guard will be telling the truth, which will be yes, and being a liar, he will say no.
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I'll say that a prisoner (my friend) ran towards the city without being noticed by the guards a few minutes ago, to any one of the guards. Assuming that all the guards are sincere at their work (if not truthful), at least one of the guards will go in a path leading to the city.
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I disagree with JohnK813 and Wwysdom.

A guard could just as easily point to any set of random paths, including both the city and shack path. They'd still be lying.

Also as stated "That DOESN'T mean the guard will only tell lies or truth"
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Accepted Solution

Since there are only seven paths, you will be brought to the hut via one of these paths, therefore, the path where you came in on, is the path to freedom. Remember and choose this path, and nomatter what question or answer, it's the right path.

Or

Since all this happens in a 'forest' and not a cave, you can just choose any path go outside, explore alittle, wander off the paths until you get to the city.
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you start at the first door and see if it leads to freedom if it does not then you declare it a "practice". then you go to the next one and do the same thing until you find the door that leads to freedom in which case it was no longer a practice, but your actual choice.
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I wait a bit, then tell the guards that the warden seems faint and ask "Where should I take him so that he may be treated?"
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Or, rereading the rules, simply state "I choose the path that leads to the city.", then you can walk down as many paths as you want and keep going back until you take the one leading to the city.  [rule 7 requires you eventually take that path once you choose it]
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can you climb a tree and see down the paths? :D
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3) You may ask only one guard one question. -- How about one question each?
How many questions can I ask the warden?
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and he asks guard#14 'If I were to ask you path to the city, which path would you indicate? '"

So you take the path he points out.
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Stick your head out of the hut, and look for the city.  Take the path that goes in that direction.
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"if this question is olny worth 40 points, then why do i care which is the path to freedom?"
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puranik_p: They aren't always lying, and they aren't always trutful, they are normal guards.
How about "Would you accept a bribe?"
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according to the author's facts and logic:

1) there are 7 paths, each guarded by 2 guards.
2)He didn't say 7 consecutive paths.
---thus there being 7 paths in front of you, 14 guards, and only 1 question.

with 7 paths, 1 leading to the city, and 1 leading to the shack. where do the other 5 lead?

as far as climbing a tree.. you're in a stray jacket.  Good luck monkey!

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ah touchÃ¨
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LVL 13

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wait until night and look out of the hut and see if you see anylights or a glow and go down the path and goes toward that direction

either that or just decide not to go down a pathand just make your own path  either way you will get to the city AKA freedom

CF101
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If one guard always tells the truth and one always lies, you can ask one of the two guards (at every point):

"Would the other guard tell me that this is the right way?"

If you have asked the truthful guard, then the answer would be that it is the wrong way.
If you asked the lying guard, then the answer would still be that it is the wrong way.
Hence, you know now that the otehr way will always be teh right way...

(damn I'm good)

:-)
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Well, if there are svene paths but only two destinations, that means that there is a "dividing point... paths to the left go one way, paths to the right go the other way.  So, I can ignore all but the leftmost and rightmost paths, making this a two path puzzle.

Ah, but what if the paths cross?  That's outside the bounds of this riddle -- if a left path crosses a left path, it doesn't matter, if a right path crosses a right path, it doesn't matter, if a left path crosses a right path, then you have a path taht can lead EITHER to good or bad, and the riddle states that each path leads either to freedom or to the shack, and a path that "splits" into the two opposing directions would thus break the rules.

The chains and straightjacket are completely irrelevant.

The two guards guarding are irrelevant, unless the riddle is misstated, and means to say that of each pair, one is a pathological liar, while the other is completely honest.

The warden being behind is also irrelevant.

The choose and stay the course rule is also irrelevant -- once I have asked my one question, I must know my answer.  Well, I suppose it codl be to rule out the posibility of my coming toward the end, seeing the shack, running back, and choosing again.

And of course, the whole question is irrelevant, because you would never see me commit a horrendous crime.
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And if you manage to escape to the city, make sure that the warden gets sued for corruption and abuse of his power. Fancy the warden letting a death sentenced prisoner escape time and again. I wonder how much he's paid to do that?

One more alternative answer is that, you choose any path, go outside the hut, block all the 7 doors and set fire to the hut, then you can take your own sweet time to get away to the city.

Or, go outside, get to a payphone, call up a good friend or relative to get them to come untie you later, go back, get tied up, left behind, and wait for the person you called to come help you.

Actually, to reiterate my answer earlier that since there are seven paths only, 6 of them leads back to the hut, which means that,

path 1 goes back to path 6
path 2 goes back to path 5
path 3 goes back to path 4

or some other combination, which means the only path left must be the path that you came to the hut from.
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for the one question you could ask for a computer.
then just go onto google satellite maps and zoom in till you find the right path
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Author Comment

danny, thank you for barely paying attention to the riddle and any of the following posts.

The Warden isn't a guard.

"A" does not translate into "one."

Lets pretend you took a bad path, so it's a path that leads to the city.
Lets pretend you didn't take that path and took another path, but that's also a path that leads to the city.

Does this explain how "a" does not necessarily mean "one"?

The straightjacket is so that people refrain from comments about beating up the guards, etc.

Also, do not make any assumptions such as being able to see the path before you leave the shack and have chosen it.

You have until next the 29th to solve the riddle..

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Points increased
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"What path leads to the city if you are telling the truth, and back to the shack if you are telling a lie?"
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ozo,

> "What path leads to the city if you are telling the truth, and back to the shack if you are
> telling a lie?"
That's really two different questions, isn't it?

- qwaletee
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Sorry, that's AT LEAST two questions, and possibly three ;)
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It is a single question with a single answer satisfying a conjunctive statement.
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Caudax said, "Lets pretend you took a bad path, so it's a path that leads to the city."

Wouldn't that be a good path?

Drew
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ask "Which way to the psychiatric hospital"
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"If you were to respond with the opposite veracity to that which you are prepared to answer me now, which is the one path that you would not indicate as being the correct path?"

So, if he answers truthfully, he will say which one path he would lie about being wrong, ie. the right path.
On the other hand, if he lies, he will say which one path he would lie about being wrong again - because he'd be lying about the "opposite veracity".
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The guard would then either give a truthful answer to
"If you were to respond with a lie, which is the one path that you would not indicate as being the correct path?"
"If you were to respond with the truth, which is the one path that you would not indicate as being the correct path?"
But if one were to respond with the truth, there would be more than one path that one would not indicate as being the correct path.
Equivalently:
"If you were to respond with the same veracity to that which you are prepared to answer me now, which is the one path that you would indicate as being the correct path?"

"What is a path which, if you were to respond with the same veracity to that which you are prepared to answer me now, you would indicate as being a correct path?"

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If the warden is behind you (possibly pushing you in a wheel chair, due to you being chained), could you not use his authority?

"The warden wants to take me the correct way. Is that OK?"

I still stick by my original post, that you could ask:

"Would the other guard tell me that this is the right way?"
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Danny, there are 13 other guards (14 total).

Asking if the warden wanting you to take the correct way will not have them say "go there."
Confusing, you have succeeded in proving your namesake; however, the guard can choose to lie for one section and tell the truth for the other.

Drewk, good point. I meant the hut though.

I asked to have the points refunded because nobody succeeded.

The answer is: "The question doesnt matter. Just pick the same path you took from the city to the hut to get to the city."

http:Q_21446978.html
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LVL 84

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Wysdom suggesed that in http:#13899949, which works assuming you have been brought via a path, and that you were allowed to see the path by which you were brought.
Otherwise, either of my two questions would work assuming the guard must either tell the truth or lie
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Thanks, ozo, Lunchy aannndd Caudax.
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Hmm...

I didn't spot that original (accepted) comment or I would've accepted it.
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