A king had 3 advisors and he wanted to find out who was the smartest. So he devised a test for them. He said that he had 3 white hats and 2 black hats. After seating the three men facing each other, he told them that he would randomly pick 3 hats, which would be placed on their heads so that they could each see the other 2 men's hats but not their own. Unbeknownst to them, the king tossed away the two black hats and only used the three white hats. After staring at each other for a while, one of the wise men figured it out and shouted, "I know! My hat is white!" How did he do it?

Originally posted by elopawn A king had 3 advisors and he wanted to find out who was the smartest. So he devised a test for them. He said that he had 3 white hats and 2 black hats. After seating the three men facing each other, he told them that he would randomly pick 3 hats, which would be placed on their heads so that they could each see the other 2 men's hats but not their own. Unbe ...[text shortened]... , one of the wise men figured it out and shouted, "I know! My hat is white!" How did he do it?

Neither of the other two advisors can see two black hats because otherwise they would know their hat colour is white.

If either of the other advisors could see a single black hat they would know that their hat was white as if it wasn't then the white hat wearing advisor would see two black hats and know his hat was white.

As neither of these has happened his own hat must be white.

Originally posted by XanthosNZ Neither of the other two advisors can see two black hats because otherwise they would know their hat colour is white.

If either of the other advisors could see a single black hat they would know that their hat was white as if it wasn't then the white hat wearing advisor would see two black hats and know his hat was white.

As neither of these has happened his own hat must be white.

A further small question:

Which advisor would you perfer to be in this situation? Or do you think that it doesn't matter?

Originally posted by elopawn A further small question:

Which advisor would you perfer to be in this situation? Or do you think that it doesn't matter?

All advisors can follow the same logic and reach the conclusion. However to do so you must have confidence in your fellow advisors. If one advisor is much worse than the others that is the one to be.

Originally posted by elopawn A king had 3 advisors and he wanted to find out who was the smartest. So he devised a test for them. He said that he had 3 white hats and 2 black hats. After seating the three men facing each other, he told them that he would randomly pick 3 hats, which would be placed on their heads so that they could each see the other 2 men's hats but not their own. Unbe ...[text shortened]... , one of the wise men figured it out and shouted, "I know! My hat is white!" How did he do it?

Originally posted by LordOfTheChessboard He diden't, It was a gamble.

it was a gamble....but as Xanthos mentioned, it is an educated gamble. Obviously he knew that the other 2 advisors were smart enuff to call White if they saw a black hat. However, he was jus that touch smarter.

Originally posted by gaurav2711 it was a gamble....but as Xanthos mentioned, it is an educated gamble. Obviously he knew that the other 2 advisors were smart enuff to call White if they saw a black hat. However, he was jus that touch smarter.

Originally posted by gaurav2711 http://www.askoxford.com/results/?view=dict&field-12668446=advisor&branch=13842570&textsearchtype=exact&sortorder=score%2Cname