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Comment count is 22
Xenocide - 2014-08-06


Also, the "correct" answer is needless logician grandstanding. What you really do is flip the guards off and then ask one of them "How many fingers am I holding up?" If he says anything but "one," he's guarding Hell.

Be sure to hold that gesture as you walk into Heaven because God's been telling people that entry into paradise was a matter of moral worthiness for 2,000 years, only for the whole thing to be determined by some Riddler bullshit. That's a mean trick, God.

James Woods - 2014-08-06

Holy shit, dude. Brilliant answer. I don't agree with your Ricky Gervais slander, but that solution is actually genius. Lie to me and tell me you're the source.

James Woods - 2014-08-06

Also, Christianity, or Islam, or Jewish-ness are riddles that only 99 percent of life on earth have ever solved, so according to the big three, god's a fuckin' wanker.

Xenocide - 2014-08-06

I did actually think that up, though I'm sure I'm not even close to the first person to do so.

Bort - 2014-08-06

It's a good answer, and you're right, others have come up with the same answer. Here's from a Werner Herzog film:


I suppose the "flaw" in the logic is that it relies upon unreliable knowledge about counting and/or frogs, as if the ability to communicate at all doesn't suffer from the same flaw. But whatever.

Bort - 2014-08-06

And, I can actually cite a real-world case where the ability to count would be an issue here. Late last year when the Senate did away with the filibuster on executive nominations ... ? They didn't actually change the rule that a three-fifths supermajority is required for cloture; that rule is still in effect. But one of the things about the Senate is, if there is any question on how to interpret a rule, a simple majority gets to decide, without any debate. So the question came up whether a simple majority satisfies the three-fifths cloture rule, and a majority felt that it did, and 51 is now greater than or equal to 60. Where is your God now, Xenocide?

Sexy Duck Cop - 2014-08-06

In a later podcast, Ricky admitted he made a mistake by forgetting to not mention you can't hold up a cat and ask "Is this a cat?" or anything similar. Still a good riddle, though.

Spoonybard - 2014-08-06

This solution isn't brilliant, it's the extremely simple and obvious solution to the riddle as ricky presented it. He fucked it up by specifying the lying guard is guarding the bad door. The guy makes a living off making fun of a moron who is in fact only slightly dumber than he is.

Hooker - 2014-08-06

Yeah, Spoony's correct. In the proper form of the riddle, the lying guard and the truthful guard do not correspond to Hell and Heaven. Either guard could be guarding either door.

You ask a guard which door the _other_ guard will say is Heaven. If you ask the lying guard, he will say the (truthful) guard will advise the door to Hell (a lie). If you ask the truthful guard, he will say (lying) guard will advise the door to Hell (the truth). In either case, you now know to pick the other door.

Syd Midnight - 2014-08-12

One can also try Terry Pratchett's solution: go up to the smallest guard, wrest their weapon from them, and say "Tell me which is the door to Heaven if you don't want to see the colour of your kidneys and incidentally I'm walking through it behind you, so if you're trying for the Mr. Clever Award just remember who's going through it first"

James Woods - 2014-08-06

That 99 percent of life will never solve^ I'm drunk. Fuuuuck yoooou.

Nominal - 2014-08-06

"How do I know you werent lying when you explained the rules?"

"It doesnt take effect until after we explain the rules."

"How do I know THAT'S not a lie!"

And so on. That's the problem I always had with this riddle.

Bort - 2014-08-06

Yeah, it's ultimately trying to express a problem of pure logic in terms that are hostile to pure logic. I suppose that's the unavoidable hazard of trying to make a logic problem entertaining.

Remember Slylock Fox from the funny pages? Every now and again the solution to a mystery was something like, "Slylock knows Sammy Snake is lying because snakes are cold-blooded and as such do not generate their own body heat". Oh really -- we're supposed to be fine with anthropomorphized foxes in deerstalker hats, but draw the line at ectothermia?

Xenocide - 2014-08-06

Those comics fucking cheated all the time.

"Slylock Fox knows Shady Shrew is lying because he is carrying a carton of milk, but Shady is lactose intolerant, a trait we have never previously mentioned."

"Slylock Fox knows Shady Shrew is lying because he threw his back out during the qualifiers for the 1996 Olympic Decathlon, as you can clearly infer from the lack of gold medals hung on his wall."


Bort - 2014-08-06

Shady Shrew stole your five stars.

fluffy - 2014-08-06

Stars for Shady Shrew.

Also I get annoyed when the answer relies on something OTHER than the obscure animal trivia that I used to figure it out myself. CURSE YOU SLYLOCK.

memedumpster - 2014-08-06

Reminds me of the lateral thinking puzzle books from the 90's, where all the answers to the problems involved unavailable information and were frustrating nonsense schlock.

In our modern world we call those puzzles Sherlock.

Bort - 2014-08-06

Okay, I just realized that Karl's approach DOES work, because it doesn't involve his entering a door, but summoning God to come out of a door and sign for the letter (or not). There are issues of theodicy here (i.e. there is the chance that God would refuse to sign for the letter, thus tricking Karl into picking the wrong door, which no loving God should do), but at its heart it's a sound approach.

Sexy Duck Cop - 2014-08-06

This is where you gotta use your gut, innit? You get two twins, and there's always one that looks a little sly.

Bort - 2014-08-06

Wait, Satan could come out of the hell-door, disguised as God. The question is, does Satan want to risk getting a visit from the Postmaster General?

TheOtherCapnS - 2014-08-06

Who cares about figuring it out. No one said they're going to let you in a door after your question. You're about to have to fight two magical guards to the death.

Sexy Duck Cop - 2014-08-07

Well it's assumed that you already have the magical Talisman of K'thorr needed to defeat both guards when they tear off their faces and reveal their true forms.

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