One of the byproducts of being a mentalist and magician is that I love riddles and puzzles. (Although, some who know me well would argue that my love of puzzles and riddles is what drove me to being a magician in the first place.)
And recently on my TikTok account, I bestowed my favourite riddle on to the masses. The riddle is as follows:
Four men buried up to their necks, awaiting execution. Between Man A and Man B is an impenetrable wall; no windows, no doors, and no mirrors. The four men are arranged in a straight line, they can’t move, they can’t turn their heads, and they can only see what’s in front of them (so Man A can see the wall, Man B can see the wall, Man C can see Man B and the wall, and Man D can see Man C, Man B, and the wall). Each of these men are wearing a hat; either a black hat, or a white hat. However, each of the men don’t know and can’t see which hat they are wearing, and they don’t know what order the hats are in. But, all the men do know that there are four men, four hats and there are two hats of each colour.
Now, these men are destined for an execution. But, being a benevolent executioner, the Trigger-Man offers a chance for salvation: If one of the men can correctly guess the colour of their own hat, all four men go free. But, if your guess is wrong, the execution of the four men carries on as planned. If they try and speak to each other, they get executed. So, the men can’t speak to each other, and cannot be incorrect.
After a time, one man calls out, with absolute, one-hundred-per-cent certainty that he can (and does) correctly identify the colour of his own hat. True to his word, the executioner sets the men free.
So, the riddle is: Which man is it, and how does he know?
Ok, I’m going to give you a chance to noodle this one out on your own first. But don’t worry, I’m going to put the answer below.