20.05.2003 // Rack Your Brains // by Tatyana Chepkova
Princess and Tigers
300 years ago there lived a king of ill heart and much pride. He had a daughter, whom he had promised to a rich neighbor, but she had a different plan: she fell in love with a plain lad, a blacksmith named Kecho. The lovers tried to run to the mountains but were caught.
Angered, the king decided to execute Kecho. However, to not appear as a cruel tyrant before his daughter and the people, and to show the blacksmith as intellectually unworthy for marriage to royalty, he let Kecho decide his own execution based on his wits. The next day he had Kecho placed in a room with nine doors. Each door led to a single room. One of the rooms contained the princess while the rest of the rooms were either empty or contained a tiger. Above each door was a sign.
Here's a list of the signs:
Room I: The lady is in an odd-numbered room.
Room II: This room is empty.
Room III: Either sign on Room V is right or sign on Room VII is wrong.
Room IV: Sign on Room I is wrong.
Room V: Either sign on Room II or sign on Room IV is right.
Room VI: Sign on Room III is wrong.
Room VII: The lady is not in Room I.
Room VIII: This room has a tiger and Room IX is empty.
Room IX: This room has a tiger and sign on Room VI is wrong.
The king told Kecho, "The sign on the door of the room containing the princess is true; the signs on the doors of all the rooms containing the tigers are false; while those on the empty rooms can be either true or false."
The king even gave Kecho a hint and told him whether Room VIII was empty or not. Kecho must now open doors until he finds the princess or a tiger and his death.
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P.S. We don't know the answer to this puzzle, so I am not sure if we can include it in the newsletter, but isn't it interesting?