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Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Professor!

Some time ago, Professor Egghead invited 5 of his colleagues from the university to help him celebrate his birthday. Each of the 5 guests were given a special party hat and Professor Egghead wore one too.

After the candles were blown out and everyone had eaten cake, Professor Egghead stood up to make an announcement. "Each of us is wearing a unique hat selected from my sizable collection of hats I've collected over the past several years while travelling to Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, and Japan. Curiously, the six hats we're wearing tonight are either red, yellow, or blue, and I can see that there is at least one of each color. As a special party favour I've set aside a special gift for the first person who can figure out the color of the hat on their own head without taking it off or looking into a mirror."

Professor Egghead's friends all knew he had a knack for picking out especially nice gifts for party favours so, of course, they each wanted to be the first to figure out the color of their hat. They each looked around the room at the hats on the heads of the professor and each of the other guests but they couldn't figure out the solution.

Suddenly all the guests stood up at the same time and exclaimed "I know the color of the hat on my head!"

They were all right and Professor Egghead, with a twinkle in his eye, gave each of them a gift that he had picked out especially for them.

Why was it so hard for Professor Egghead's guests to figure out what color hat was on their own head and how did they suddenly come up with the right answer?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

2 RED, 2 YELLOW, 2 BLUE. Any guest (let’s say guest #1) could see that 1 of the 3 hat colors was worn only once (let’s call that person guest #2) while the other 2 hat colors appeared twice each (on guests # 3, 4, 5 and the host). If guest #2 didn't call out an answer that could only mean guest #1 had that 3rd color as well. Upon realizing this guest #1 called out along with everyone else.