Four People and a Wall

Tuesday, 22 January 2008


Right, I’ve got a problem for you tonight. Not an important problem, nothing that has remotely anything to do with me and my life. It is a logic problem that I was told about today. You may or may not have heard it, so if you haven’t, give it a thought. I won’t be telling you the solution tonight. I don’t want to ruin it. So here, I’ll describe it.

The best way to start is with a picture, so here goes.

Logic Problem

I hope you appreciate the amount of time I clearly put into the creation of that picture. It’s not that I’m not artistic; it’s just that I want to get to sleep tonight.

Anyway, let me explain.

These people, 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all wearing hats. (That’s what the triangles are!). None of the people know the colour of their own hat, but they all know that there are two Red and two Yellow hats between them. All of the people are facing the wall. Person 1 can see nothing but a brick wall. Person 2 can also see nothing but a brick wall. Person 3 is slightly taller and can see Person 2 in front of them, as well as the wall. Person 4 is the tallest and can see Person 3, Person 2 and the brick wall. None of the people can talk, move or turn around. All of the people know the whereabouts of the other people. As soon as one person knows the colour of their hat, they will say “The colour of my hat is…” followed by the correct colour. So there lies the problem: Which person can tell, for sure, what colour hat they are wearing?

There we are. Let me just say, this is not a trick question. There are no holes in the wall, they cannot peer around the wall, the wall is not transparent. They did not just look beforehand to see what colour hat they were being issued with. Person 4 cannot see over the wall, (even on tippy-toes!). They cannot climb on top of each other to see over the wall. They cannot look up and see their own hats. They don’t just guess the colour of their hats. NO! This is not a trick question. I tried this puzzle on my family and all I got were stupid questions like those. There is one answer, and it does make sense. Think about it, and I’ll tell you the answer soon. But I’m sure, seen as this is the internet, that people will work it out, or just cheat. It’s bound to be on another website somewhere.

Ok, that’s all you’re getting today. Oh, actually I’ll upload a new picture as well. This is a more arty one, but not as arty as it will get, let me warn you.

Being 'Noble'

Also I just found this picture on my computer. It’s another of my obviously beautiful artistic designs. A giraffe called Grindle! (Don’t even question it, even I don’t know why!)

Grindle The Giraffe

Night! X

3 Responses to “Four People and a Wall”

  1. Sonia Says:

    I got it, I got it. 🙂 Thanks, Ella. Fun puzzle!

  2. Suvi Says:

    Heh nice puzzle. Sadly I’m too stupid to solve it x)

    btw. cute giraffe you got there 😉

  3. Ella’s puzzle « Sonia Keys Says:

    […] by Sonia on January 22, 2008 The answer to Ella’s puzzle is person 3.  She didn’t want to tell the answer last night, so I kept quiet until I’d […]

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