Answer

“I have a white hat”.

Let’s suppose the winner, you, are A, and the others are B and C.

You could say, by probability, there are more white than black so white is more likely. Or that three identical hats is the only fair test. But that’s a guess, not a deduction.

So, let’s work it out. If two of them have black hats, the third would know immediately he had a white hat, there would be no pause and the problem is over. But that doesn’t happen, so there is at most one black hat.

If you were A and you saw a black hat (say B) and a white hat (C), then you would know you had a white hat, because C does not see two black hats. If he did, he would answer instantly.

If you were A and you saw two white hats (B and C), you would have to put yourself in, say, B’s position. If you (A) had a black hat on, B sees a black (A) and a white (C), realises that C doesn’t know so C must see a black and a white, so B would know the answer and would say he had a white. But he doesn’t, so you don’t have a black hat on, so it must be white.

Puzzle

A wizard is giving his three pupils a final test.

He tells them he has five hats, two black and three white.

The pupils must close their eyes, then each will have a hat put on their head. The remaining two hats will be hidden. Then the pupils can open their eyes.

The first to deduce what colour hat they have will win.

So, they do that. The pupils are not allowed to ask questions, there are no mirrors and they cannot see their own hats.

There is a long pause, and the one says… what?

Brexit

It has been a fairly extraordinary day for British politics, and it’s only tea time!

Yesterday, the cabinet of UK Conservative government got together to discuss the draft EU withdrawal agreement. After a long and apparently heated discussion, all came out agreeing it was the way to go. At that time, few had seen the nearly 600 page report, let alone read it, but some members of the EU had and apparently agreed with it.

But, as the BBC and others said, and maybe you have been in such a meeting, you agree to things at the time, come out, think about what happened, actually look at the documents, and change your mind.

And so it was. During today, the Brexit secretary and others resigned their posts. Mrs May appeared in the House of Commons and had a hard time, from the opposition (to be expected) and from her own party. It’s a compromise, of course, not a piece of ideology. At the end of it, you have to have a country that still works.

Even before it had become available, Conservative politicians who are hard right Leavers (and also very rich and therefore relatively unaffected by what happens) were condemning the agreement and were talking of letters of no confidence, the PM to resign and leadership challenges, which would probably mean a new PM.

Mrs May has said several times she intends to see it through (Mr Cameron did that, then bailed out very quickly), ruled out a general election (but she did that before, then held a quick one and shot herself in the foot) and seems outwardly confident the proposals will go through parliament. This does seem unlikely. She has also said definitely no second national referendum – we voted to leave, and we will.

Personally, I blame Cameron. He said the nation would be asked stay or leave and the result would be binding, expecting a decent ‘stay’ result, but it wasn’t. The vote was simplistic (people didn’t understand the issues – so many thought it would mean the immigrants would simply vanish) and the propaganda, especially on the Leave side, was too easily believed (again, because I suspected they were bound to loose so could just say any od thing).

Personally, I would have some respect for Mrs May, and certainly wouldn’t blame her, if she just said “Pooh to you all, I’m off, got a good book deal.”

The Government, the country, we are in a mess. This would not have happened if Remain had won. So, we know who to blame – all those who voted ‘Leave’.

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