Fair Maiden Rowena and Three Boxes

Jan 05, 2018

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


TOM: And people named Rowena.

RAY: Rowena. There you go. Turns out that the fair maiden Rowena wishes to wed.

TOM: Aha!

RAY: And her father, the evil king, has devised a way to drive off suitors. He has a little quiz for them, and here it is.

It's very simple. There are three boxes on the table, OK? One is made of gold. One is made of silver. And the third is made of...

TOM: Tofu.

RAY: Lead. Inside one of these boxes is a picture of the fair Rowena. And it is the job of the knight, the white knight, to figure out which--without opening them, of course, which one has her picture. Now, 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."

And the lead box says, "The picture ain't in the gold box."

TOM: Yeah. But he also gives him a hint, right? He's going to give him a hint.

RAY: Yes. The hint is, one of the statements, and only one, is true.

TOM: Excellent!

RAY: The question is: Where's the picture?



RAY: You got it? One is correct, and the other two are incorrect. And, if you look at one and three, they're contradictory.

TOM: I like this, because if one of them is true, the gold box can't be true. 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," that is also false, which means that her picture is -

TOM: In the silver box!



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