Gordon Rutter is a writer, photographer and organiser of the Edinburgh Fortean Society. He is also a jolly nice man and was one of the speakers and co-organizers of the Hauntings event. A few weeks ago he told me about a great puzzle, and here is my version……
Imagine waiting in line at the Post Office. There is one person in front of you and another behind. The door suddenly bursts opens and in walks the nasty man that hung you upside down in the previous Friday puzzle. This time he has a bag containing four hats (two red and two blue), and is accompanied by his very good friend, the hungry lion.
You look at the lion, wink, and start to sing ‘happy birthday’. The lion snarls and the nasty man yanks his chain.
Next, the nasty man makes everyone in the line shut their eyes, takes three hats from the bag and placed one on each person’s head. Then he tells you all to look straight ahead and open your eyes, thus ensuring that each of you can only see the colour of any hats directly in front of you.
The nasty man then issues his ultimatum. “First, you are not allowed to say anything to one another. Now, if any of you can correctly state the colour of the hat you are wearing, all three of you will live. However, if you get it wrong then the hungry lion will eat all three of you”.
Not surprisingly, you are shocked. After all, you only came in for a packet of stamps and a Kit-Kat. Anyway, after about a minute of pin-dropping silence you suddenly name the colour of your hat, and the lion punches the air in frustration.
There are no mirrors, reflective surfaces, or squirrels in the Post Office, so how did you rob the lion of his meal this time?