Three Princes

Question: 6

A king wants his daughter to marry the smartest of 3 extremely intelligent young princes, and so the king’s wise men devised an intelligence test.
The princes are gathered into a room and seated, facing one another, and are shown 2 black hats and 3 white hats. They are blindfolded, and 1 hat is placed on each of their heads, with the remaining hats hidden in a different room.
The king tells them that the first prince to deduce the color of his hat without removing it or looking at it will marry his daughter. A wrong guess will mean death. The blindfolds are then removed.
You are one of the princes. You see 2 white hats on the other prince’s heads. After some time you realize that the other princes are unable to deduce the color of their hat, or are unwilling to guess. What color is your hat?
Note: You know that your competitors are very intelligent and want nothing more than to marry the princess. You also know that a king is a man of his word, and he has said that the test is a fair test of intelligence and bravery.

.

.

C

A

P

T

A

I

N

I

N

T

E

R

V

I

E

W

.

.

Solution: White. The king would not select two white hats and one black hat. This would mean two princes would see one black hat and one white hat. You would be at a disadvantage if you were the only prince wearing a black hat.
If you were wearing the black hat, it would not take long for one of the other princes to deduce he was wearing a white hat.
If an intelligent prince saw a white hat and a black hat, he would eventually realize that the king would never select two black hats and one white hat. Any prince seeing two black hats would instantly know he was wearing a white hat. Therefore if a prince can see one black hat, he can work out he is wearing white.
Therefore the only fair test is for all three princes to be wearing white hats. After waiting some time just to be sure, you can safely assert you are wearing a white hat.

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