CAN YOU SOLVE THIS PIRATE RIDDLE?

The answer surprised me.

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2 Responses to CAN YOU SOLVE THIS PIRATE RIDDLE?

  1. I mostly worked it out right, then lost patience. I looked at it from the Captain’s perspective. An easier solution, which would pay the captain better, and be more piratey, would be for him to just shoot any one of the other crew first. Then offer one of them a single coin. Since any tie vote counts as a win, 99-1-0-0 gets 2 votes and is a better solution than the 3 vote getting 98-0-0-1-1.

    But real pirates had this kind of thing all figured out, which is why they had a system of “shares” that all agreed to in advance, before even signing on as crew. And the biggest beneficiary was usually the ship herself. Less senior sailors got fewer shares. Some percentage of any booty was often set aside as bonus money for heroic acts etc.

  2. Of course, the best solution is for the captain to immediately shoot 3 of the 4 crew, then keep all the gold himself. But somebody has to sail the boat, so leave as many alive as possible to do that, so I rejected that one.

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