The answer to the riddle…

Last night I posted up a favourite old riddle, something I read when a child, and it threw Kim into a scrabble-hating, sudoku-loathing spin.

As Kim wrote so well about our similarities last night, she also highlighted our vast gaping distances in two things that are so very important (to me and all right-thinking people): spelling and puzzles.

Scrabble? can’t get enough of it. Upwords? even better. Sudoku? Once I realised it was a logic puzzle and nothing to do with numbers, major addiction loomed. And yes, Kim, you guessed right, I don’t bother with crosswords unless they are cryptic.

If only more people took such things seriously the world would truly be a better place. Oh, yes indeed.

(moving on)

So, to end the torture for Kim and anyone else who couldn’t get their heads around the riddle – the Prof included – here it is, this time with the answer.

A man is set a task that requires him to choose a path at a fork in the road that is guarded by two statues gifted with speech.
One of the statues can only speak the truth. The other statue can only lie.
The man can only ask one of the statues a question, and only by the statue’s answer can he know which is the correct path to choose, the left or the right.
He cannot tell which statue is the true one and which the liar.

What one question does he ask to be sure of finding the right path?

Humour me and scroll down a little, just for the suspense…

He asks the statue nearest him, “Which path would the other one tell me to take?”

And then he goes the opposite way.

(If the true one tells him to go left he knows that’s what the liar would have said, so he goes right; if the liar tells him to go left he knows that’s the opposite of what the true one would have said, so either way the correct action is to take the right-hand path.)