Thou Shall Not Lie

Enjoy figuring this out, courtesy of Husband!

Five friends (an engineer, a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher and a philosopher) get together at, of all things, an ethics symposium. This is humorous because four out of five of them do nothing but lie. Lawyers have always been the butt of jokes about their truthfulness, but engineers, teachers, philosophers, and doctors? What's this world coming to?

From the following statements, can you figure out who is telling the truth and what each person really does?

Mike: "John never lies. As his doctor, I should know."

Ralph: "No, John always lies. I taught him math in high school and he even lied about that."

Bill: "How could John lie? He never lies."

John: "That's right. I'm not a lawyer. I'm a doctor."

Susie: "I'm the only doctor here. Are you that embarrassed at being a philosopher, Mike, or are you just playing one of your philosophical games?

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Task #1: Find out who's telling the truth.
It's Ralph. How do we know it's Ralph?
What we know is that 4 out of 5 people are lying.
Mike and Bill both state that John never lies.
Since only one person is telling the truth, that means both Mike and Bill are lying.
Now we know that Ralph is telling the truth (Ralph states the opposite of Mike and Bill).

Task #2: Find out each person's occupation.
This is a process of elimination.
Start with Ralph; he's a teacher (taught John in high school).
Next is John; he said he wasn't a lawyer; John is the lawyer.
Mike is not a doctor, based on his statement. He's also not a philosopher, based on Susie's statement. Mike is the engineer.
Susie is the philosopher based on her statement (plus, Mike is the engineer).
That leaves Bill as the doctor.

2 comments:

  1. My daughter and I enjoyed working on this over lunch one day last week. We love logic puzzles like this.Thanks for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Debbie. My husband LOVES puzzles, brain-benders, and the like. More to come, I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete

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