Re: Riddles (was: Lateral Thinking)

From: Emlyn (
Date: Fri Jan 05 2001 - 19:16:00 MST

One box is big, the other is small.

The keyhole in the big box is larger than the key to the smaller box. So, I
pick up the larger box, shake it around a bit, till the key to the smaller
box falls out through the keyhole of the larger box. Click, clack, and we
are done.

The big box is big and heavy. The small box is frail. I use the big box to
smash the small box, extract the key from the wreckage, open the big box.

Alternative; it's a hardcopy version of The Spike, suitable for box

Ah hah! Thought of this while typing the other two.
One box is the room we are in, with a locked door; the other is a little box
in the floor. The key to the little box is on the floor, the key to the
larger one is in the little box.


Actually, I think the box-smashing answer is the most likely to work.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Dale Johnstone" <> To: <> Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2001 6:49 AM Subject: Re: Riddles (was: Lateral Thinking)

> > I previously wrote: > > > Ok, try this one: > > > > There are two locked boxes, an old and younger brother; > > The keys to each, are inside the other; > > > > To cheer up the ozzy, I leave a copy of 'The Spike'; > > Of which you're free to use, in any way you like; > > > > To keep him smiling, I promise no meta-tricks; > > No Eliezer Yudkowsky's, xgl's, or tooth picks; > > > > Now all that remains, is for me to ask; > > How do I open each box, and complete the task? > > > > > > It's actually quite an easy one. I request that Eliezer and xgl sit this > one > > out to give others a shot at it. You're both free to respond privately > > though. > > I expected someone would guess this pretty quickly, but only Eliezer has > attempted it. He gave the following answer: > > >1) Take the key from A. > >2) Using the key from A, unlock B. > >3) Take the key from B. > >4) Using the key from B, unlock A. Be sure to do this before Step 1. > > While technically correct in a minimal sense, I can't declare him winner > because he does not explain how the apparent paradox was evaded. I need a > glowing lightbulb 'aha!' type answer. I'm pretty sure Damien would have > roasted me otherwise. > > Here's a couple of clues: The boxes are real wooden boxes with locks built > into them, but they are not the same size. > > Only the first 2 lines are really relevant to the puzzle. They rest is > mainly to distract you and to tease Damien. > > Eli & xgl: feel free to join in publically. > > Apologies to anyone who maybe found the puzzle added to the noise. I will > post the solution next Friday and be done with it. > > Cheers, > Dale Johnstone. > AI Researcher. > > >

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