Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
May 2024

Clever Triplets

A King has three sons of the same age. He loves them all equally. He tells them that the one who proves he is the most clever will be the next king. He displays to them five feathers. Two of them are white and three black.
He asked them to sit in a triangle–each one can see the other two. He put the feathers in a silk bag and then he attaches a black feather to the back of each of their hats. Now each sees that his two brothers have black feathers but cannot see his own.

The king asked the first son what feather he has. He answers: “I don`t know”.
The king asked the second son what feather he has. He answers: “I don`t know”.
Now, before the king can ask the third brother, he jumps up and states: “I must have a black feather.”

How did he know?

Submit your Guess




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12 guesses to Clever Triplets

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  • becouse he see one of each color and knows his has to be black

  • Nope, that’s not it, keep trying.

  • Sofia

    He knew that the king would give the same colored feathers because he loved them equally and he had seen that there were 3 black feathers.

  • Dude

    close but no.

    Keep trying.

  • Are there any answers to these riddles? XD

  • tizz

    there where only two white feathers.he saw these two on others’ hats, obviously he had a black one

  • No, you’re getting colder.

    Keep trying.

  • J

    Assume: The sons all know the contents of the bag and are “guessing” to the best of their logical ability.

    IF the first son said “I Don’t Know” that cancels the possibility that both the second son and the third son has white feathers. The possible scenarios here would allow for either 2 black feathers on the second and third son, or 1 black and 1 white on the second and third son.

    Now, the second son would have KNOWN that he wasn’t wearing a white feather IF the third son was wearing a white feather, due to the above logical flow.

    1.) IF he had seen the first and the third son wearing white feathers, he would have exclaimed that he knew that he was wearing the black feather.

    2.) IF he had seen the first son wearing a black feather, while the third son wore a white feather, he would have known also that he was wearing a black feather (see above).

    Hence, the second son said that he didn’t know would only occur for scenarios where the third son was wearing a black feather.

    Disallowed Scenarios:
    1: B 2: W 3: W ( 1 would have known )
    1: W 2: B 3: W ( 2 would have known )
    1: B 2: B 3: W ( 2 would have known )

    There are no scenarios for which 3 would be wearing white feathers.

  • Dude

    Correct M.

    Since the first two brothers couldn’t name their color, they must have been looking at two black feathers.

    You are today’s winner.

  • he knew that the king loved his three sons equally and had three black feathers. he could see that his brothers had a black feather. so he knew that he had a black feather

  • Sdsgs

    TV rots your brain

  • Richard

    “He loves them all equally.” so knowing this the king gives them all the same colour feather as EQUALS!!