Brainteaser “Finding Pike Place Market”

You’ve flown into Seattle for an international convention on food safety in flexible packaging. You’re staying at a nice hotel in mid-town but have a bit of time to kill before the convention kicks off. You remember hearing that the Pike Place Market is really a must-visit location and decide to walk down there for some coffee and perhaps a keepsake or two for your kids back in Kentucky.

As you start your journey to the market you are on Pine Street, heading towards the water, having been told by a local shopkeeper that the market is roughly in that direction. However, at some point there is a fork in the road. You could go one of two ways but only one leads directly to the market.

Lucky for you there are two men standing next to the road fork. However, as you approach the men and ask for directions they are a bit snarky, quickly pointing out that one of them lies and the other always tells the truth. You do not know who is who. The men reluctantly say they’ll help you, but note they will only grant you the chance to ask just one of them a single question. Which question should you ask to find your way?

Click Here for a Hint!
In order to solve this you have to think about the value of information. When is information good? If you know one bit of information is false, then its opposite must be true? Think through this carefully and you’ll be able to figure this out. Good luck!
Click Here for the Answer!
Ask one of the men, “If I were to ask the man standing next to you: which way takes me to the market?, what would he answer?”

If you ask this to the liar, he will point you in the wrong way.

If you ask this to the one who speaks the truth, he will also point you in the wrong way.

So after asking the question, take the other way. This will bring you in the market.

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AUTHOR: Dan Meyers