1. ## Problem!

While three wise men are asleep under a tree a mischievous boy paints their foreheads red. Later they all wake up at the same time and all three start laughing. After several minutes suddenly one stops. Why did he stop?

(I'll probably post more problems when I find them; if you want the sauce, send me an LPP.)

2. Originally Posted by Brian
While three wise men are asleep under a tree a mischievous boy paints their foreheads red. Later they all wake up at the same time and all three start laughing. After several minutes suddenly one stops. Why did he stop?

(I'll probably post more problems when I find them; if you want the sauce, send me an LPP.)
Because that one saw this in the distance:

Or basically because he realized he was painted on too.

3. Originally Posted by Timeless
Or basically because he realized he was painted on too.
How did you arrive at that conclusion?

4. Originally Posted by Brian
How did you arrive at that conclusion?

5. Originally Posted by Timeless
Well aren't you boring.

6. Originally Posted by Brian
Well aren't you boring.
It sounded scripted that's why, but for the next one, if you don't want us to use any reference or tools, by all means let us know.

Better to put that out there then have somebody use that and not bring it up y'know?

7. Without looking at the other answers or Google, I figure that he must have realized that neither of the other two would be laughing if they knew their own foreheads were painted, so how does he know his own forehead isn't painted? It seems like, in this sort of logic problem, there should be a more conclusive sequence of logic that he could have used to be certain his own head was painted, though. Hmmm.

8. Originally Posted by Krig the Viking
Without looking at the other answers or Google, I figure that he must have realized that neither of the other two would be laughing if they knew their own foreheads were painted, so how does he know his own forehead isn't painted? It seems like, in this sort of logic problem, there should be a more conclusive sequence of logic that he could have used to be certain his own head was painted, though. Hmmm.
I'm going to check the answer in a minute but I would assume that he would have noticed that the laughter of the other two was in part directed at him. Once he had gotton over the initial amusement of laughung at the others he would have started to wonder why he himself was being laughed at and seeing that he was laughing at the other two people because there head was painted red and perhaps noticing that the nature and the focus of the others laughter was focused at his forehead that it would be reasonable to conclude that he also had red painted on his forehead. I am not certain but I believe that this is in part how we learn to understand others, by seeing how we react and comparing our reactions to that of others, I think it may also tie into some things about our self image and how we form this.

9. I don't get why just one of the guys stopped laughing though.. Was he wiser than the rest or something? Also, why would it take several minutes for him to notice that the other two were looking at his forehead? Why couldn't he feel the paint on his forehead? And why would it be funny to him that the other guys foreheads were painted red, but not funny that his own was? I think this guy has problems.

10. Originally Posted by Rubicon
I don't get why just one of the guys stopped laughing though.
Chaos theory -doesn't matter.

Originally Posted by Rubicon
Was he wiser than the rest or something? Also, why would it take several minutes for him to notice that the other two were looking at his forehead?
Back in the days when people were called wise men and they sat under trees and things and kids painted their heads red without them noticing, back on those days people were quite stupid and probably didn't read books or watch the discovery channel. As such it is quite reasonable to expect even the wisest in society (and it is reasonable to assume that there may perhaps have been only six or seven people in the community) would have been innocent enough to laugh for several minutes at anothers head being painted red (it is reasonalbe to assume that paint was a recent invention and that these may have been the first people to have been painted any colour let alone read - the novelty factor of such a jape would surely be enough to tickle even the most sophisticated of contemporary thinkers for at least a quarter of an hour or so, i would have thought)

11. Originally Posted by somavision
I'm going to check the answer in a minute but I would assume that he would have noticed that the laughter of the other two was in part directed at him.
Yeah, I thought about that, but this feels more like one of those logic puzzles, like the one with the guy who always lies and the guy who always tells the truth. There should be some clever logical answer, rather than a behavioural one. But maybe I'm reading too much into it...

12. Originally Posted by Krig the Viking
Yeah, I thought about that, but this feels more like one of those logic puzzles, like the one with the guy who always lies and the guy who always tells the truth. There should be some clever logical answer, rather than a behavioural one. But maybe I'm reading too much into it...
I checked the answers and you are reading too much into it, your first instincts were correct.

13. Originally Posted by somavision
Chaos theory -doesn't matter.

Back in the days when people were called wise men and they sat under trees and things and kids painted their heads red without them noticing, back on those days people were quite stupid and probably didn't read books or watch the discovery channel. As such it is quite reasonable to expect even the wisest in society (and it is reasonable to assume that there may perhaps have been only six or seven people in the community) would have been innocent enough to laugh for several minutes at anothers head being painted red (it is reasonalbe to assume that paint was a recent invention and that these may have been the first people to have been painted any colour let alone read - the novelty factor of such a jape would surely be enough to tickle even the most sophisticated of contemporary thinkers for at least a quarter of an hour or so, i would have thought)
Nice explanations! Now there's just the problem of why he didn't feel the paint on his forehead when his face wrinkled into laughter..

14. Originally Posted by somavision
I checked the answers and you are reading too much into it, your first instincts were correct.
Bah. That's always my problem with these things.

[Edit: I went and checked, and I was actually right, it was more specific than my initial guess. Of course, it seems obvious now that I know the answer. I won't spoil it for those who are determined to get it, though. ]

15. Originally Posted by Krig the Viking
Bah. That's always my problem with these things.

[Edit: I went and checked, and I was actually right, it was more specific than my initial guess. Of course, it seems obvious now that I know the answer. I won't spoil it for those who are determined to get it, though. ]
Don't worry - Timeless already spoiled it for everyone. :-p lol

16. Originally Posted by Brian
While three wise men are asleep under a tree a mischievous boy paints their foreheads red. Later they all wake up at the same time and all three start laughing. After several minutes suddenly one stops. Why did he stop?
Another good example of proof you're ILE.

17. Originally Posted by Brian
While three wise men are asleep under a tree a mischievous boy paints their foreheads red. Later they all wake up at the same time and all three start laughing. After several minutes suddenly one stops. Why did he stop?

(I'll probably post more problems when I find them; if you want the sauce, send me an LPP.)
he stopped laughing because the red paint was his own blood, and now he died of the hole in his body, so he can't laugh anymore because he's dead.

18. Originally Posted by Jarno
he stopped laughing because the red paint was his own blood, and now he died of the hole in his body, so he can't laugh anymore because he's dead.

19. For me, the most natural reaction I would have if I were one these guys is that since I see other two people laughing at me, there should be something wrong going on with myself, I probably was also painted with red paint. I think that due the fact I could see two other people laughing at me, and the other two guys laughing at each other, I would most surely think that I was also afflicted by the same problem the other two had. If I were not also painted of red, but if I were painted in another color or if they've done something worse or even not so bad to me, the other two guys wouldn't be laughing equally at me and at each other, they would not see me as as amusing as themselves, they would laugh in different proportions at each one of us, because one of us would look funnier than the other. So the only explanation for this would be that I was painted myself of the same red color. So I think one of the guys would surely realize that, I mean, talking strictly in logical terms, not talking about real life, because taking this puzzle to reality is ridiculous.

20. So far no-one has figured out the full correct answer.

There is a lack of sufficient information to answer absolutely, and the solution requires a bit of conjecture, but I'll provide a few possible reasons:

Each man would notice the others have red paint on them and laugh because, presumably he was spared. Once he realizes that the others are laughing because they presume themselves to be exceptions, he knows that they observe paint on the two foreheads they can see, thus meaning he must have paint on his own forehead. However, this only proves that he must have paint on his own forehead, not that the paint must be red. We could use the same reasoning that he would know that the others are laughing because the paint is the same, (but that's a little more fudgy) or assume that the color of paint doesn't make anything more or less funny.

The essential part of the puzzle is that he deduces the other two wise men observe the same thing he does because they are responding similarly to the limited amount of information they can perceive. If only one was painted they would be laughing differently, perhaps directing it at the one painted person. The situation cannot be asymmetrical, so it must be symmetrical.

22. This ending could have lots of answers. Why should one stop laughing? Most likely because one gets bored with laughing about red paint and starts thinking about something more progressive. It is rare that all three men would wake up at the same time, and even rarer for them to additionally stop laughing at the same time.

23. Originally Posted by Brian
This was my first thought as well... right after "if they're identical, why didn't they do the exact same thing?" (which doesn't count because it isn't an answer).

24. Red attracts angry bulls and bees, so upon realizing his forehead was red the poor man realized he was in grave danger.

edit: i agree the information is incomplete. It should have been said they were in a field full of bulls or something.

25. The men would not have woken up all at the same time unless there was some kind of trigger. Obviously this trigger could have happened without some person occasioning it, but this is a statistical improbability so that's not the assumption. The wise dude deduces from this that whatever person painted them and triggered their awakening is likely still somewhere close to them and if they want to unleash their anger upon the person they must stop laughing unproductively and spring to action.

26. Originally Posted by Brian
While three wise men are asleep under a tree a mischievous boy paints their foreheads red. Later they all wake up at the same time and all three start laughing. After several minutes suddenly one stops. Why did he stop?
he crapped his pants

27. Originally Posted by Krig the Viking
Bah. That's always my problem with these things.

[Edit: I went and checked, and I was actually right, it was more specific than my initial guess. Of course, it seems obvious now that I know the answer. I won't spoil it for those who are determined to get it, though. ]
Yes you're right there is that specific bit.

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