Hats!!!

Here is one of my favourite puzzles that I used in classes on several occasions:

In a small village in the middle of nowhere, three innocent prisoners are sitting in a jail. One day, the cruel jailer takes them out and places them in a line on three chairs, in such a way that man C can see both man A and man B, man B can see only man A, and man A can see none of the other men. The jailer shows them 5 hats, 2 of which are black and 3 of which are white. After this, he blindfolds the men, places one hat on each of their heads, and removes the blindfolds again. The jailer tells his three prisoners that if one of them is able to determine the color of his hat within one minute without talking to each other, all of them are released. Otherwise, they will all be executed. None of the prisoners can see his own hat, and all are intelligent. After 59 seconds, man A, who can see no hats, shouts out the (correct) color of his hat!

Explain.

3 thoughts on “Hats!!!

  1. *cracks formal logic fingers*
    If C saw that A and B were both black, he’d know he was white and shout. He didn’t shout, so A and B must be either both white or white and black.
    If B saw that A is black but C didn’t shout, then he must be white and would shout so. But he didn’t shout, so B is black. If B is black then A is white.
    Since B and C don’t shout, A knows he is white.

    AM I RIGHT????

    Like

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