Re: Riddles (was: Lateral Thinking)

From: Dale Johnstone (
Date: Sat Jan 06 2001 - 11:11:10 MST

----- Original Message -----
From: "xgl" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2001 10:15 PM
Subject: Re: Riddles (was: Lateral Thinking)

> On Fri, 5 Jan 2001, Dale Johnstone wrote:
> >
> > >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.
> >
> okay, i'll venture a guess. one box contains the other as well as
> the key to the contained box. here comes the stretch -- i'm *inside* the
> bigger box, so i can follow eliezer's key (hehe) to unlock both boxes. but
> the question remains, which is box a, and which box b?
> -x

Congratulations x! Yours was the first email I received that explained the
apparent paradox.

The labels A & B don't really matter. In Eliezer's answer I assumed the
bigger box would have to be Box B since his Step 4 is done first. Unless of
course you & both keys were inside Box B, which in turn is inside Box A.

Thanks to Emlyn and Damien for also posting the correct answer, and to Mike,
Adrian and Spike for their creative replies.

I'm not quite sure what to say to Eli, he seems to have figured out another
solution entirely. I'll have to await the outcome of that. No doubts it'll
be creative too.

Dale Johnstone.

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