Four criminals are caught and are to be punished. The judge allowed them to be freed if they solve a puzzle. If they do not, they will be hung. They agreed.
The 4 criminals are lined up on some steps (as shown in the picture). They are all facing in the same direction. A wall separates the fourth man from the other three.
- So to summarize:
- Man 1 can see the Man 2 and 3.
- Man 2 can see man 3.
- Man 3 can see none of the others.
- Man 4 can see none of the others.
The criminals are wearing hats. They are told that there are two white hats and two black hats. The men initially don’t know what color hat they are wearing. They are told to shout out the color of the hat that they are wearing as soon as they know for certain what color it is.
- They are not allowed to turn or move.
- They are not allowed to talk to each other.
- They are not allowed to take their hats off.
Who is the first person to shout out and why?
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3 and 4 can’t see anyone and hence can’t determine their own hat color.
Man 1 can see Man 2 and 3, but can’t determine his own hat color.
Though he can see 2 hats Man 1 cannot determine the color of his hat.
So Man 2 can conclude that if 2 and 3 were wearing same color hat man 1 would have easily guessed his own hat color. But since he can’t, 2 and 3 are wearing different colored hats.
Since Man 2 can see Man 3 is wearing a black hat, he can confidently say that he is wearing a white hat.
So the Answer is Man 2 will shout out the color of his hat as white first.