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Tuzilla  (Level: 146.7 - Posts: 3848)
Thu, 8th Mar '07 9:10 PM


The Duel

After a mutual and irreconcilable dispute among Roy, Brady and Bruce, the three parties have agreed to a three way duel. Each man is provided a pistol and an unlimited supply of ammunition. Instead of simultaneous volleys, a firing order is to be established and followed until only one survivor remains.

Bruce is a 100 percent marksman, never having missed a bull's eye in his shooting career. Brady is successful two out of three times on the average, and you, Roy, are only a 1/3 marksman. Recognizing the disparate degrees of marksmanship, the others have decided that you will be the first and Brady second in the firing order.

Your pistol is loaded and cocked. At whom do you fire first and why?
I have my theory on this...I should know the definitive answer on Monday. But I want it before then if any of you brainiacs can divine the solid answer. Thanks.

Supermom  (Level: 59.9 - Posts: 22)
Fri, 9th Mar '07 12:04 AM

I choose to fire upwards, toward the sky, and guarantee a miss. Brady then will choose to fire at Bruce, taking Bruce out of the dual. Then it is my turn again, and I shoot out Brady, and I remain the only survivor.

This is probably NOT the answer because it seems too easy.....Just thought that I'd give it a try! I love brain teasers!

Please let us know the correct answer on Monday!

Surreyman  (Level: 274.9 - Posts: 2776)
Fri, 9th Mar '07 5:28 AM

I'd just run!

Larefamiliaris  (Level: 135.2 - Posts: 877)
Fri, 9th Mar '07 6:38 AM

Shoot myself - 2/3 chance I'd miss and that would hopefully make the others laugh so hard they'd miss too...
Joe shoots Mr. Orange,
Mr. White then shoots and kills Joe for shooting Mr. Orange,
Eddie shoots Mr. White for shooting his father, and finally
Mr. White shoots and kills Eddie while falling after being shot.
Just for the record, I like to think of myself as Mr Puce.

Kaufman  (Level: 270.2 - Posts: 3942)
Fri, 9th Mar '07 9:03 AM

Right. The flaw in Supermom's strategy is that you are a 1/3 marksman. Ergo, 2/3 of the time, you're going to miss and hit somebody if you shoot straight up. Figuring that 1/4 of those shots, or a total of 1/12, are going to pick off Bruce, another 1/4 Brady (no doubt Jan), another 1/4 are going to hit your own incompetent noggin, and the rest are going to inexplicably kill John F. Kennedy, it is safe to say that I've completely lost track of the question. But then it's duck season anyway.

Garrybl  (Level: 294.3 - Posts: 6811)
Fri, 9th Mar '07 11:24 AM

supermom's strategy is the recognized best one.
you are deemed to be able to 'miss' a target all the time, even if you only 'hit' one, 1/3 of the time when you aim.


Missashlee  (Level: 125.6 - Posts: 543)
Fri, 9th Mar '07 4:46 PM

Here is my answer to the what and why.

Roy’s pistol is loaded and cocked. He does not aim at either opponent, and harmlessly discharges the pistol to the side.

Why? This is what I imagine is going through each one’s mind as they await Roy’s first shot.

Bruce: It does not matter what Roy and Brady decide to do. If either kills the other on their turns, I will dispatch the one remaining with my first shot and I win. If all three of us are still standing when I get my first shot, I must kill Brady first, since my odds would be 2-to-1 to survive Roy’s next shot but only 1-to-2 to survive Brady’s next shot.

Brady: If Roy kills Bruce on his first shot, I will have a 2-to-1 chance of killing Roy with my next shot, and even if we end up trading a few rounds at each other, my superior marksmanship will give me the edge. If all of us are still standing when I get my first shot, I must shoot at Bruce. Knowing Bruce’s keen mind, he has figured out the odds and would shoot at me first if given the chance, and I am a dead man.

Roy: No matter who I shoot at, if I kill him, the remaining one gets a shot at me before I get another shot. I will be dead if I kill Brady, and only have a 2-to-1 chance to survive Brady’s shot if I kill Bruce. I know that Brady will figure out he has to shoot at Bruce if he gets the chance, and Bruce will figure out he must kill Brady on his turn if Brady misses. By deliberately wasting my first shot, I will get a shot at the only opponent left standing after the first round.

Tuzilla  (Level: 146.7 - Posts: 3848)
Fri, 9th Mar '07 7:04 PM

Here is my take, like I said, I have to wait until Monday or maybe Tuesday for the offical answer to be offered up.

Remember the question asked: "At whom do you fire first and why?"

I will fire my pistol at me, the ground, the air, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that I do not shoot any of the 3 of them. That answers the first half of the question.

The second half is: "Why?"

If I shoot and kill Brady, Bruce will definitely kill me because he never misses. If I kill Bruce, it is 2 to 1 that Brady will shoot me. If I shoot no one, Brady MUST shoot at Bruce, and will probably kill him. If he shoots at me, instead, Bruce will shoot and kill him. He knows that, so he MUST shoot at Bruce. If he misses Bruce, Bruce will shoot him because h is still more of a threat than I am. That will leave me with the next shoot at whoever is left...and that satisfies the "Why?". What happens next is not part of the question.

Supermom  (Level: 59.9 - Posts: 22)
Sat, 10th Mar '07 12:23 AM

YEH! Exactly what I said yesterday!

Aslan  (Level: 27.6 - Posts: 356)
Sat, 10th Mar '07 7:37 AM

I love this kinda stuff! Thanks for sharing it. It keeps the last few remaining grey cells bouncing around.

Mskillian  (Level: 65.1 - Posts: 226)
Sat, 10th Mar '07 4:44 PM

Miss Scarlett in the conservatory with the candlest....Oh wait, you didn't want that theory, did you?

Supermom  (Level: 59.9 - Posts: 22)
Wed, 14th Mar '07 11:22 PM

Hey Tuzilla! Did you ever receive the definitive answer to "The Duel"?

Supermom  (Level: 59.9 - Posts: 22)
Fri, 16th Mar '07 12:41 AM

THANKS Tuzilla! I think that we came pretty close!
Just curious....In what year of school is your daughter?

Tuzilla  (Level: 146.7 - Posts: 3848)
Fri, 16th Mar '07 6:39 AM

Junior. I think this was and add on to homework. It came from her AP Chemistry teacher. Much of the rest of the work in that class is close to incomprehensible to me, and I did fairly well in Chemistry back when I took it in high school. Of course there were only a 15-20 elements to learn at the time.

Soldotna  (Level: 27.7 - Posts: 145)
Fri, 16th Mar '07 7:49 AM

With a question like that who can wonder at the violence in schools. Wow!!!

Supermom  (Level: 59.9 - Posts: 22)
Fri, 16th Mar '07 11:42 PM

Kind of a strange homework assignment for AP Chem! Well I hope that she earned the extra credit! Thanks for the fun!

Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2812)
Sat, 17th Mar '07 12:34 PM

This was the Weekly Puzzler on Car Talk a few weeks ago, so I knew the answer. Very clever, all of you! I would never have gotten it. Logic is not my forte. Just ask my husband!

Tuzilla  (Level: 146.7 - Posts: 3848)
Sat, 17th Mar '07 10:12 PM

I think it was more of an extra credit point getter.

Texlewee  (Level: 34.1 - Posts: 599)
Wed, 4th Apr '07 8:01 AM

And, of course, the liberal answer is, WHY do these people have guns? Their parents should have raised them better and will be held responsible for this outrage.... Now, lets all sit down and talk this over.

The conservative? TAKE their guns. Sell them to a band of guerrillas. Deny Deny Deny.

The "green"? Take the guns. Turn them into Bongs.

The Iraqi way? "What guns?"

Texlewee was here

Tuzilla  (Level: 146.7 - Posts: 3848)
Wed, 4th Apr '07 10:30 AM

Ha. I thought the Conservative answer was "Get an automatic weapon and take them both out."

Kaufman  (Level: 270.2 - Posts: 3942)
Wed, 4th Apr '07 10:38 AM

... And a bowler whips out his hand grenade and picks up the split.

Texlewee  (Level: 34.1 - Posts: 599)
Fri, 6th Apr '07 11:26 PM

Ok, the automatic weapon answer is good, too....

Or, another lib answer... Take the guns, sell them for scrap metal. Tax the scrap metal dealer. Close his plant for the pollution. Confiscate the land. Turn it into a park. Hug a tree.

Tuzilla  (Level: 146.7 - Posts: 3848)
Sat, 7th Apr '07 12:34 PM

Or the Libertarian answer...let everyone have whatever weapons they want and wait and see if everyone misuses them to kill each other, if they do, ban them.

Texlewee  (Level: 34.1 - Posts: 599)
Thu, 12th Apr '07 12:20 AM

I thought the libertarian view would be more of a " Let them all have guns... If they all misuse them and kill each other, too bad. Freedom has consequences.

Tuzilla  (Level: 146.7 - Posts: 3848)
Thu, 12th Apr '07 7:36 AM

I had a co-worker who was a vociferous Libertarian. He ran for office, and lost, on multiple occasions. He was radically in favor of everyone having all types of weapons available for any and all, and only punishing those who wrongly used them. He always was saying in his rants "Because when the revolution comes..." He was the same with drinking and driving (He had 3 D.U.I.s). You should be able to drink all you want and drive. You should only be punished if you get in an accident. With either of his arguments a person needs to be injured or killed before the guilty party is liable for punishment. At that point the punishment is after the fact and will do little/nothing to alleviate the pain of injury or to bring the innocent party back to life. Libertarians are big on closing empty barns.

Texlewee  (Level: 34.1 - Posts: 599)
Thu, 12th Apr '07 10:57 AM

I see his point on the weapon charge, because we have a constitutional right to bear arms in the USA, and that ain't just for hunting. It is also for protecting ourselves against criminals, and yes, even an unjust government. It's hard for me to rationalize that private citizens should be able to purchase whatever firepower they can afford, however, because of the massive destructive capabilities of some of today's more powerful weapons.

The alcohol argument of his is lame, I think. It's not illegal for him to own as much beer as he wants to buy. However, it is reasonable for there to be laws governing improper use of it, I, for one, agree that DUI is one of them. We, as a people, have decided that there is a certain BAC that constitutes improper use of alcohol when combined with operation of a motor vehicle. There is NO constitutional right to drink AND drive. Just as there is no constitutional right to have a gun AND kill an innocent person. Unfortunately, one of the consequences of living in a "free" society is for people to abuse their freedom. And removing that freedom simply because others abuse it is just wrong. We would never outlaw alcohol simply because some idiot drives drunk, nor would we outlaw cars because someone drove recklessly and ran over someone else. We would punish them to the fullest extent of the law. It should be the same with guns. Certainly, I understand that misuse of a firearm can be, and often is, fatal. But even that extreme result is NO reason to remove my constitutional right to own weapons.

Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2853)
Fri, 13th Apr '07 6:14 PM

I find it interesting that some people saw this as a LOGISTICAL question, while others saw it as a MORAL question.
It is also an interesting dilemna that so many people stand up for "the right to bear arms" when it is an undisputed fact that violence begets violence.
Each year more people are killed with guns in the US than, in the rest of the world put together. I don't understand the NRA's stance on this debate.

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