A fun and interesting "logic" challenge for those who like fun and interesting challenges.
Questioning the Answers
The following “logic problem” serves as a parable for why the right questions are definitely the equal of any answers we obtain. If not superior altogether. Most answers create and force a grappling with new questions which themselves may be incomprehensible. It seems better that one formulate an appropriate question for which a reply, regardless of its nature or our lack of understanding, was at least anticipated.
A woman once found herself lost in the wilderness home of two separate and very different tribes. She knew that the members of one village were friendly and always told the truth. She was also aware how those from the other village were cannibals and always lied when they spoke.
While the woman wandered along a trail, weak from hunger and thirst, she happened upon a fork in the path, occupied by a lone native whose tribal affiliation was unknown to her. In desperate need of food and rest, the woman realized that taking the wrong route would deliver her into the deadly clutches of the cannibals. Choosing the other, she would soon be welcomed by the generous people of the friendly village.
If she asked the right question of the solitary stranger, the woman realized, he should invariably direct her to safety. After a moment of deliberation, she asked her question, went about her way, and lived happily ever after.
What question did the woman ask?
Spoiler alert! The text below contains the answer to the riddle. Don't look until you've given up.
“?egalliv ruoy ot liart eht si hcihW”
A. Were the villager a member of the truthsayers, he would obviously point the woman in the right direction, and to safety.
B. Were the villager a member of the cannibalistic tribe of liars, he also would, by virtue of his lie, direct the woman to follow the path to the truthsayers tribe.
Only the best questions yield the most valuable answers.