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Hedge Fund Brainteasers: The Three Knights |

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains how to answer this tricky brainteaser.


I love brainteasers. They suck during interviews because it is very easy to panic. That's often what a firm is looking for; that and the logic that you are using to dissect the problem. For me personally I enjoy the challenge. Here is 1 of the classics. I haven't done this 1 before but let's see if you can figure it out.

During medieval times when knights and barbarians for against each other, a man was captured and sentenced to death for allegedly befriending barbarians. The king however wanted to give him another chance and ordered him to his presence. He asked them to choose 1 of 3 knights who were present. 1 of the nights was the Knight of Life. He always tells the truth. The 2nd knight is the Knight Death and he always lies. The 3rd knight is the Knight of the Dungeon. He sometimes lies and sometimes tells the truth.

If the man chooses the Knight of Death, he will be executed before sunset. If he chooses the Knight of Life, he will be acquitted and set free right away; if he chooses the Knight of the Dungeons, you will spend the rest of his life in prison in the dungeon. This is the 1st time he's ever seen these 3 knights so we could recognize them and knew nothing about them. He is allowed to ask the knights one question each.

The man asked the redhaired knight, "What is the name of this blonde haired knight?" The reply was, "He is the Knight of Life." He asked the black haired knight, "What is the name of the blonde haired knight?" The reply was, "He is the Knight of Death." Then, he asked the blonde haired knight, "Who are you?" The response was, "I am the Knight of the Dungeon."

The man guessed correctly and let's see if you can.

Here's how to solve it. The redhaired knight said blonde was life. Red cannot be life. That would be a lie. The blonde haired knight said he was dungeon. He couldn't be life or that would be a lie. The black haired knight must be life. He said blonde is death which leaves red as dungeon.

That's the solution to the problem.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1100 episodes, “Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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