Prank the Professors

Three professors fell asleep under a tree. At some point a prankster passed by and painted their faces with black dye. When the professors woke up, each of them saw the others’ faces and started laughing at them. After a while though, they stopped laughing, realizing that their own faces were painted as well. How did they deduce that?

Let us denote the professors with A, B and C. The thought process of A would go like this: “If my face is not painted, then B will see that C is laughing at him and will realize immediately that he is being pranked. However, B was laughing for a while and therefore my I must being pranked as well.”. Then A will stop laughing and the same will happen with the other two professors B and C.

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