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Very hard problem >_<

  1. Jan 14, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    You are on an island, and you reach a fork in the road. You want to go to the Cuddly-Wuddly tribe, not the Nasty-wasty tribe. Cuddly-Wuddlies always tell the truth, while Nasty-Wasties always lie. A man is standing in the middle of the road, but you don't know what tribe he's from. You can only ask 1 question; what question do you ask to know which way to go?




    2. Relevant equations
    None. I just got this in math class, that's why it's in this forum.



    3. The attempt at a solution
    Ask if he was of the other tribe, which way leads to the Cuddly-Wuddly tribe, go the other way. The closest guess in the class is to ask which way is NOT the Cuddly-wuddly tribe.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2009 #2

    HallsofIvy

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    I think what you really meant was: ask "If I were to ask a person of the other tribe the way to the Cuddly-wuddly tribe, what would he answer?", then go the other way.

    Yes, that works. If the person is of the Cuddly-wuddly tribe, the other tribe is the Nasty-wasty tribe and would point the wrong way. The person of the Cuddly-wuddly tribe would answer your answer truthfully by pointing the wrong way.

    If the person is of the Nasty-wasty tribe, the other tribe is the Cuddly-wuddly tribe and would point the correct way. A person of the Nasty-wasty tribe would answer untruthfully by pointing the wrong way.

    In either case, the person is would point the wrong way. Going the other way leads to the Cuddly-wuddly tribe.

    Now, excuse me. Having written "Cuddly-wuddly" and "Nasty-wasty" so many times, I need to go fwow-up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  4. Jan 15, 2009 #3
    I think the following question would work too. It is simpler...

    "Which way is your tribe?"

    Either way, the man points to the Cuddly-Wuddly tribe, yes?
     
  5. Jan 16, 2009 #4

    HallsofIvy

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    Ouch! That's embarassing.
     
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