# Prisoner’s and hats interview puzzle

Suppose there are 4 prisoners named W, X, Y, and Z. Prisoner W is standing on one side of a wall, and prisoners X Y and Z are standing on the other side of the wall. Prisoners X, Y, and Z are all standing in a straight line facing right – so X can see prisoner Y and Z, and Y can see prisoner Z. This is what their arrangement looks like:

W(cann’t see anything) || X(can see both Y&Z) Y(can see z) Z(cann’t see anything)

Where the “||” represents a wall. The wall has no mirrors. So, prisoner W can see the wall and nothing else.

There are 2 white hats and 2 black hats. Each prisoner has a hat on his head. Each prisoner can not see the color of his own hat, and can not remove the hat from his own head. But the prisoners do know that there are 2 white hats and 2 black hats amongst themselves.

The prison guard says that if one of the prisoners can correctly guess the color of his hat then the prisoners will be set free and released.

**Question :Figure out which prisoner would know the color of his own hat?**

Note that the prisoners are not allowed to signal to each other, nor speak to each other to give each other hints. But, they can all hear each other if one of them tries to answer the question. Also, you can assume that every prisoner thinks logically and knows that the other prisoners think logically as well.

Clearly prisoners W and Z can not immediately know anything since neither of those prisoners can see any of the other prisoners. So, let’s instead focus on prisoners X and Y.Suppose we have the following scenario with the arrangement of different hat colors:

W(B) || X(B) Y(W) Z(W)

In the scenario above, prisoner X will clearly see that Y and Z both have white hats, and logically deduce that he must have a black hat since there are 2 white hats and 2 black hats all together – and he would be correct. Very simple! And this simple logic would also apply to this scenario as well:

W(W) || X(W) Y(B) Z(B)

But let’s consider another example:

W(B) || X (W) Y(B) Z(W)

In this case Z cann’t say what colour hat he is wearing .Y also knows that if the colour’s of Y and Z hats were same he would have shouted immediately.So he will guess that he and Z are wearing opposite color hats..So Y will wait till the time is about to over and then he will shout the opposite colour which Z is wearing.

### Your Answer

## More puzzles to try-

### What is the logic behind these ?

3 + 3 = 3 5 + 4 = 4 1 + 0 = 3 2 + 3 = 4 ...Read More »### Defective stack of coins puzzle

There are 10 stacks of 10 coins each. Each coin weights 10 gms. However, one stack of coins is defective ...Read More »### Which clock works best?

Which clock works best? The one that loses a minute a day or the one that doesn’t work at all?Read More »### (Advanced) Cheryl’s Birthday Puzzle

Paul, Sam and Dean are assigned the task of figuring out two numbers. They get the following information: Both numbers ...Read More »### Five greedy pirates and gold coin distribution Puzzle

Five puzzleFry ship’s pirates have obtained 100 gold coins and have to divide up the loot. The pirates are all ...Read More »### Magical flowers!!

A devotee goes to three temples, temple1, temple2 and temple3 one after the other. In front of each temple, there ...Read More »### Tuesday, Thursday what are other two days staring with T?

Four days are there which start with the letter ‘T‘. I can remember only two of them as “Tuesday , Thursday”. ...Read More »### How could only 3 apples left

Two fathers took their sons to a fruit stall. Each man and son bought an apple, But when they returned ...Read More »### How Many Eggs ?

A farmer is taking her eggs to the market in a cart, but she hits a pothole, which knocks over ...Read More »### HARD MATHS – How much faster is one train from other Puzzle

Two trains starting at same time, one from Bangalore to Mysore and other in opposite direction arrive at their destination ...Read More »### Most Analytical GOOGLE INTERVIEW Question Revealed

Let it be simple and as direct as possible. Interviewer : Tell me how much time (in days) and money would ...Read More »### Lateral thinking sequence Puzzle

Solve this logic sequence puzzle by the correct digit- 8080 = 6 1357 = 0 2022 = 1 1999 = ...Read More »### How did he know?

A man leaves his house in the morning to go to office and kisses his wife. In the evening on ...Read More »### Pizza Cost Math Brain Teaser

Jasmine, Thibault, and Noah were having a night out and decided to order a pizza for $10. It turned out ...Read More »### Which letter replaces the question mark

Which letter replaces the question markRead More »### Which room is safest puzzle

A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, ...Read More »### Richie’s Number System

Richie established a very strange number system. According to her claim for different combination of 0 and 2 you will ...Read More »### Srabon wanted to pass

The result of math class test came out. Fariha’s mark was an even number. Srabon got a prime!! Nabila got ...Read More »### Become Normal!!

Robi is a very serious student. On the first day of this year his seriousness for study was 1 hour. ...Read More »### Sakib Knows The Number!

Ragib: I got digits of a 2 digit number Sakib: Is it an odd? Ragib: Yes. Moreover, the sum of ...Read More »