Two friends, logicians – Ein and Stein – get imprisoned in two distant cells in a castle. Both cells have just one door, and a window with 8 bars in the first cell, and 12 bars in the second cell. The first day both logicians get the same letter from the prison master:
“The total number of bars in the two prison cells in this castle is either 18 or 20. Starting tomorrow, every morning I will go first to Ein and then to Stein, and will ask how many bars the other logician has. If one of you answers correctly, I will immediately let both of you leave the castle. If one of you answers incorrectly, I will execute both of you. Of course, you can always decide not to answer and just stay imprisoned.
I have sent a copy of this letter to you and your friend. There is no point in trying to communicate with him – your cells are far away from each other, and he won’t hear you.”
Will the logicians manage to escape the castle eventually? When will they do it?
Solution coming soon.