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March 6, 2010



Can you solve this puzzle about giants and natives?

There is an island with miniature natives on it. Once a year, an Evil Giant visits the island. The Evil Giant has the natives line up, all facing the front of the line, and places either a red or a blue hat on each native’s head. Starting at the back of the line, each native tries to guess the color of her hat.

Now, remember, every native can hear what the other natives say. So, when a native says the color of her hat, all the other natives can hear too.

If the native guesses right, she gets to stay on the island with her friends. If she is wrong, the Evil Giant takes her away from the island and away from her friends.

How can the natives design a strategy — before the Evil Giant begins placing the colored hats on them –
to keep as many of their friends on the island as possible?

How many natives can stay on the island?

Just enter your answer in the comment section below – we’ll publish all answers in two weeks, on March 20, 2010. If you get the answer correct, you will win a fabulous t-shirt! Thank you, CMU’s Women@SCS for this cool puzzle!

And remember to check back here for iTwixie’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) puzzles from our friends at CMU’s Women@SCS!

{pub}Login (or join and then login) and come back to this page to send in your answers to the puzzle!{/pub}

{reg}Remember, none of your answers will show up until March 20, 2010, when we announce the solution to this puzzle! Good luck!{/reg}

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