Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Handshaking with Cheating Husbands

David Cowan posted an interesting puzzle on his blog:
My wife and I went to a dinner party with four other couples. At the beginning of the party, some people shook hands. (Obviously, no one shook his or her own hand or spouse's hand, and no one shook hands with the same person twice.) During the party I surveyed all the other people as to how many hands each one shook. I got different answers from everyone. What did my wife say?
Scroll down to the comments section and you'll see I couldn't resist chiming in.

A colleague, who like me subscribes to Cowan's RSS feed, suggested I forward David the Cheating Husbands riddle we struggled with earlier this year. I was introduced to this puzzle in How Would You Move Mount Fuji, a book I truly enjoyed. The original puzzle (with adulterous wives rather than husbands; less appropriate for our politically correct times) was published by George Gamow and Marvin Stern back in 1958.

Rather than emailing it to David, I decided to share it with this blog's handful of faithful readers. So, here is the riddle (courtesy of Amazon and How Would You Move Mount Fuji):

For the laziest amongst you, I also posted the solution here.


Blogger David Cowan said...

Good one! I particularly enjoyed all the Google Adsense ads this post generated for private detectives who can investigate cheating husbands.

5:21 PM  

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