The Babuschka and the pearls


Before going home, Inspector Simon Mart visited a pearl shop on the island of KoaLoao, where every native was either a TruthTeller or a LieSpeaker, he decided he really had to take home a souvenir.

He looked around in one of the local pearl shops. It was not very large, but his eye fell on a nicely crafted Babuschka – one of those russian dolls where, when you open it, it contains another similar doll, which, when you open it, ok, you get it.
This babuschka contained 3 smaller dolls, and had six small pearls inlaid for the eyes of the dolls. He picked it up and weanted to buy it, but his eye fell on a pillow with 4 beautiful large pearls, some entire white, some entirely black. He remebered that all pearls on this island were either black or white.
“How many of these large pearls do you have?” Simon asked, interested.
“Not very many” the shopowner asnwered. “My neighbour next door has more, and he has 29 pearls of this size.”
“That doesnt tell me how many you have” the inspector remarked.
“Well, if I would put all my large pearls in a bag, both black and white, and you would take out two at random, the chances would be exactly 1 in 5 that you would have two black ones.”
“Don’t believe a word he says!” the servant in the shop warned him. “My boss is a notorious LieSpeaker! Our neighbour has 30 pearls of this size, and the chances are exactly 1 in 4 that you would take out 2 white pearls!”

“That makes things clear!” answered inspector Mart. “Thank you!”

How many pearls does the shop owner have? And who is speaking the truth?

Please try to solve the puzzles on your own. You are welcome to remark on the puzzles, and I love it when you comment variations, state wether they are too easy or too difficult, or simply your solution times. Please do not state the soultions – it spoils the fun for others. I usually make the solution available after one or two weeks through a link, which allows readers to check the solution without the temptation to scroll down a few lines before having a go at it themselves.

When you have solved this puzzle, you can check your solution here

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s