The king’s daughter had three suitors. Being a king in a riddle, the king decided to handle the situation in the time-honored way; he would allow one of the suitors to marry the daughter, and he would possibly kill the other two. He blindfolded all of the men, and lined them up, facing the same direction, so the one in the back could see he other two, the one in the middle could the one in front of him, and the one in front of him could see nothing. Their heads were strapped down so their views could not change.
All of the men were quite intelligent and motivated, after the king explained the situation. The situation was this: While they were blindfolded, the king had chose three hats at random from a bag of five: two blue, and three red. Each of the chosen hats was placed on one of the suitor, and each suitor was given a chance to guess what color his hat was. Guess right, you get the princess; guess wrong, you get beheaded. Choose not to guess, you get returned to your regular life. All of the suitors wanted the princess, but none wanted her enough to take on a non-zero chance of being beheaded (which is math-talk for, “Nobody was guessing unless he was certain.”)
The king said, “Because I like you most, Adam, I’ve not only placed you in the back where you can see the other hats, but I’m also going to let you go first!”
Adam cleared his throat and said, “I have no guess to make.”
The King said, “Because I like you more than I like Charlie, Bernard, I’ve not only placed you in the middle, where you can see Charlie’s hat, but I’m also going to let you go second.”
Bernard cleared his throat and said, “I have no guess to make.”
The King said, “My daughter likes you, but I hate you, Charlie, so I’ve placed you in the front and let the other suitors have their chances before you got yours.”
Charlie cleared his throat and said….what?