Rara
Topic Author
Posts: 2296
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:41 am

### Here's A Riddle To Think About

I hope you folks don't know it yet. It's an amusing little question my girlfriend asked me yesterday, so if you have some time to kill:

Five pirates have acquired 100 dubloons in a raid (damn, I'm four days too late, eh me hearty?). The captain is to decide how to distribute the booty. Of the four crew, 50% or more have to agree with his distribution - else they kill the captain, the next-highest ranking crew member becomes captain, and then he decides under the same conditions.
Rules: all pirates are very intelligent, egoistic profit-maximizers. They don't form alliances, it's each man for himself, and they are not compassionate.

Question: how many dubloons can the captain keep for himself without taking a risk to be killed?

My advise is, don't google it; chances are there are some solutions out there. The correct solution might be debatable. I have a version I'm quite convinced of, but I'm curious to hear yours!
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.

N867DA
Posts: 1012
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 12:53 am

### RE: Here's A Riddle To Think About

The captain kills the other pirates, keeps 100% and picks up a new batch of desperate people willing to make money by piracy?
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wunala
Posts: 899
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 7:17 am

### RE: Here's A Riddle To Think About

100, because they would all take turns at being captain, then get killed, hence the last captain with no crew will take the cash as there is noone to argue with him.

ANITIX87
Posts: 2983
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

### RE: Here's A Riddle To Think About

 Quoting Wunala (Reply 2):100, because they would all take turns at being captain, then get killed, hence the last captain with no crew will take the cash as there is noone to argue with him.

The question is how much the ORIGINAL captain can keep. Keeping 100 so that he gets killed seems kind of counter-intuitive to me, haha.

I don't have a good answer, though.

TIS
www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4

petertenthije
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 10:00 pm

### RE: Here's A Riddle To Think About

The captain can get away with 58 dubloons.

Each pirate would get 20 dubloons if divived honestly. Give two pirates their share of 20 plus one dubloon as a bonus. The other two get nothing. Half the crew would be very happy with the deal having had a bonus. The other half would not be happy, but that is not a problem.
Attamottamotta!

dc9northwest
Posts: 2262
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

### RE: Here's A Riddle To Think About

Hmmm... I guess 34. But that's just me. He is the captain, so he deserves something more. Two others get 33, the others nothing. Depends. Might be 33 if the crew are being tightwads.

Any answer is technically ok, as we don't know the 'killing threshold'.

ANITIX87
Posts: 2983
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:52 am

### RE: Here's A Riddle To Think About

 Quoting Petertenthije (Reply 4):The captain can get away with 58 dubloons.

I like this answer.

TIS
www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4

Nicoeddf
Posts: 597
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:13 am

### RE: Here's A Riddle To Think About

 Quoting Petertenthije (Reply 4): Each pirate would get 20 dubloons if divived honestly. Give two pirates their share of 20 plus one dubloon as a bonus. The other two get nothing. Half the crew would be very happy with the deal having had a bonus. The other half would not be happy, but that is not a problem.

Yep, but with that logic he could also take 98 and give one each to two pirates. They would be happy to get something and vote for yes, the others don't count.
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NoUFO
Posts: 7397
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 7:40 am

### RE: Here's A Riddle To Think About

34

The Captain can safely ignore 2 of the pirates, so pirates 4 and 5 receive nothing. The Captain now needs to evenly distribute the 100 dubloons among him and pirates 2 and 3. That would be 33 for each plus the last remaining for the Captain.

IF the pirates would kill the Captain, pirate 2 would become Captain and could safely ignore only one pirate, and would still have to distribute 100 dubloons among three pirates, so the result would be the same. Hence there's no use in killing the incumbent in order to receive a higher share.

EDIT: Make that 32. The Captain can not keep the excess dubloon. This and another one would have to go to pirates 2 and 3.

Captain: 32
Pirate 2: 34
Pirate 3: 34
Pirate 4: 0
Pirate 5: 0

[Edited 2008-09-23 16:16:01]
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Rara
Topic Author
Posts: 2296
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:41 am

### RE: Here's A Riddle To Think About

 Quoting Dc9northwest (Reply 5): Any answer is technically ok, as we don't know the 'killing threshold'.

But we know that all pirates are rational and even though they want to have as much money as possible, above all they don't want to get killed..
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.

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