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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Puzzle me this... » » A royal marriage (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Steve Martin
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A royal princess is at the age where she is expected to marry. She has fallen in love with a kind, handsome and talented man outside the royal circle. The king, however, wishes her to marry one of her royal cousins instead. The cousin is immensely wealthy but unfortunately he is a total arsehole as well, and the princess hates him.

The princess and and king argue over the matter and cannot reach agreement. One day, the two of them take a walk in the palace grounds. As they walk along a pebbled walkway (a path which comprises thousands of small stones - some white and some black), the king agrees to settle the matter by drawing lots. He tells the princess that he will place one pebble of each colour in his velvet bag, and that she will choose one. If she chooses the white pebble, she shall marry her lover. If she chooses the black pebble, she must marry her cousin. The princess agrees. The king stoops and picks up two pebbles, but instead of picking up one of each colour, he secretly picks up two black stones and puts them in his bag (the b'stard!).

The princess, however, notices her father's duplicity. She realises he is trying to trick her into marrying her cousin, which she most decidedly does not want to do! The princess respects her father, despite his harsh stance. She dare not expose his trick and thereby embarrass him, but she desperately wants to marry the man she loves.

What should she do in this situation?
Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein
dlhoyt
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She could propose to draw a single stone, note the color, replace it, and draw a second stone. If the two stones drawn are of the same color she gets to marry the man she loves. However, if they are different colors, she must marry her cousin. Since this is a 50:50 proposition (assuming there is one stone of each color in the bag) her father should have no objection to it. And, perhaps, he would be so pleased to have such a bright daughter that he would agree to her proposition.
mike paris
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I know the answer to this one from many years ago,so I won,t spoil it,let some others guess it.
Josh the Superfluous
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How about a verbal choice?

"I choose the white one"
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
TomasB
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She can take it behind her back before looking at it and, ooops, she dropped it among the thousands of small stones on the ground. Luckily the stone she didn't pick will tell the King what she did pick. Smile

/Tomas
magicjohn2278
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... clever isn't he!
Steve Martin
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Tomas... that's the one!
Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.
Albert Einstein
Josh the Superfluous
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Of course the dishonest king would look into the bag and say, "You picked the black one".
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
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