Friday, April 15, 2016

Look Here

Here it is, Tax Day, so to take your mind off it, let's have a puzzle.  Here's one I ran across recently.  It's about three people, Jack, Anne and George:

Jack is looking at Anne, but Anne is looking at George. Jack is married, but George is not.  Is a married person looking at an unmarried person?

A.  Yes

B.  No

C.  Cannot be determined

The answer is below, so don't peek until you've done it yourself.  The interesting thing is a large majority of people get this wrong.

First, enjoy this picture:

Okay, back to the puzzle.  The correct answer is yes.  Most people think it can't be determined (which is true as far as they're concerned, I guess).

The reasoning is pretty simple.  You have two cases of one person looking at another, and you have to determine if either of these cases involves a married person looking at an unmarried one.

We know about the marital state of Jack and George, but not Anne.  Yet it doesn't matter.  If she's unmarried, then Jack looking at her fulfills the condition.  If she's married, then Anne looking at George takes care of it.  Thus, no matter what Anne's deal is, a married person is looking at an unmarried one.  QED.


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