Presidents

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gnome
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Presidents

Post by gnome »

Heard this one on a podcast, and found it enjoyable. Paraphrasing for my own purposes.

Bob and Carol are sitting at breakfast. Bob looks up from his paper (it's like last century or something) and says, "Huh. It says here that out of the first five presidents, three of them died on the 4th of July."

Carol says, "I'll bet you I can name one of them [edit to clarify: one of the three that died on July 4]."

The puzzle: Assuming she doesn't personally know when they died, and she's not playing the odds, how is Carol so sure?
Last edited by gnome on Sat May 11, 2019 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
gnome
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Re: Presidents

Post by gnome »

Bah. But there is an answer available from deduction, that's what I'm looking for.
Anaxagoras
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Re: Presidents

Post by Anaxagoras »

Everyone knows who the first president was, at least.
gnome
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Re: Presidents

Post by gnome »

Talking about being able to know one of the ones that died on the 4th, from that one clue. You can presume if you like that she knows all their names.
Anaxagoras
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Re: Presidents

Post by Anaxagoras »

gnome wrote: Fri May 10, 2019 9:11 pm "Huh. It says here that out of the first five presidents, three of them died on the 4th of July."

Carol says, "I'll bet you I can name one of them."

The puzzle: Assuming she doesn't personally know when they died, and she's not playing the odds, how is Carol so sure?
The antecedent of "them" could be "the first five presidents" If she can name any one of "them" (the first five presidents) then it isn't playing the odds.

But perhaps you were looking for a different answer? When you use a pronoun in an ambiguous way, it leaves that open as a possible interpretation.
gnome
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Re: Presidents

Post by gnome »

I'm looking for how she can pick one of the five and be fairly certain that she's correct that her pick is one of the three. I'll edit, if that helps.
Anaxagoras
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Re: Presidents

Post by Anaxagoras »

OK, whoever the 5th president was. That'll be one of the three.
Anaxagoras
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Re: Presidents

Post by Anaxagoras »

Abdul Alhazred wrote: Sat May 11, 2019 3:54 pm
Anaxagoras wrote: Sat May 11, 2019 3:51 pm OK, whoever the 5th president was. That'll be one of the three.
Line of reasoning?
If the 5th president was not among the three, they would say "Huh. It says here that out of the first four presidents, three of them died on the 4th of July."

You see why? Also why they don't make it "3 out of the first 6" or "3 out of the first 10". Although those statements would also be true, they are less remarkable.
gnome
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Re: Presidents

Post by gnome »

Anax nailed it. Precisely the answer I was looking for.