Janine is one of twenty guests at a Christmas party. Each guest is given a book as a present. Janines’s book is called ‘Living with Crazy Buttocks’. She isn’t sure what to make of that.
The guests are invited to play a game. Each book is put into an identical cardboard box. The boxes can be opened and closed without leaving a mark. The twenty boxes are piled up around the Christmas Tree.
The guests are told that they will each have the opportunity to open half of the boxes. Their objective is to find their own book. If they all succeed the group wins and they will win a trip to Paris. If any one of them fails then the group fails but they will each get a Twinkie to keep for life.
The guests are taken to another room and then taken to the tree one at a time. They cannot see what any other guest does at the tree. They are not able to communicate once the game starts. The boxes are put back after each guest, as though they had never been there.
You would think that the chance of the group succeeding was 1/2^20 but they can do much better than that.
The group must come up with a strategy before the game starts. What is the best strategy to get the group to Paris, and let Janine keep her ‘Crazy Buttocks’?
These books are all real. They will be helpful to you if you have had any of the following thoughts:
We all know the Nazis killed millions of innocent people but what were they like on ecological issues?
I would like to speak Italian but can’t be bothered to learn any Italian words, can you help?
Aubergines are very flushed, just how angry are they?
I think I’m dead, how can I tell for certain?
I am rich but dead. How should I pimp my coffin?
I am worried about running into large, slow moving objects; can you suggest any strategies to avoid this?
Just how boring was 1587?
I live thousands of miles from Versailles. Will I get a good view?
I am English, am I human?
My buttocks are insane.