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The game of the little piglet is a typical French game for 3 players. The first player takes the ball and throws it. The second player takes the throw and balls it. What does the third player do?

There's nothing wrong with my translation, even if the phrasing seems weird. It is a deductive reasoning game, not a guessing game. There is one and only one correct answer.

Hint:

The answer is the only fact about the third player that can be deduced from the question.

WARNING : What is below reveals the answer

First Order Logic

Proof that the solution :

  • exists
  • is unique
  • can be found by deduction

First order logic is very flexible, here let's just turn the actions into functions while the people and the objects become variables or constants. The question becomes :

playsPiglet(X, Y, Z)

takes(ball, X)

throws(ball, X)

takes(throw, Y)

balls(throw, Y)

Z only appears on one line so you can't work the equations any further. The only fact you know about Z is that he plays the game of the little piglet.

(There's no credit to be given, someone asked me that riddle long ago. It took me a long time to find the correct answer).

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    $\begingroup$ Are you sure this is [logical-deduction] and not [lateral-thinking]? $\endgroup$
    – justhalf
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 3:59
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    $\begingroup$ If a puzzle is too broad without hints, consensus is to close it. Information necessary for others to rule out wrong answers should be visible by default $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 13:44
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    $\begingroup$ There are very similar questions in French forums, jeuxvideo.com/forums/1-6244-9110995-1-0-1-0-0.htm and forum.reseau-js.com/topic/6724-riponpon/#comments that go on for 7 pages to conclude with the "answer": "you are all morons to look for an answer that does not exist". Maybe you came up with an answer, but it is like "guess what I think". $\endgroup$
    – Florian F
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ @AlainReve Even if it is presented as a deduction puzzle, the fact that there is nothing to deduce and that the intended answer is simply something that is true by definition, still puts it in prank/gotcha territory in my view. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 10:13
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    $\begingroup$ @AlainReve The problem is not that there is redundant information. The problem is that there is no relevant information. There is nothing to solve, nothing to deduce, there is nothing to do but regurgutate the trivially obvious. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 24, 2022 at 11:10

7 Answers 7

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Does the third player

throw the jack?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C3%A9tanque

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I assume you're describing

the game also known as "Piggy in the Middle", or simply "Keep Away".

In that case, the third player would

attempt to intercept the ball while the other two players throw it back and forth between one another.

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    $\begingroup$ Sorry for the trouble. As for your answer, it's not the game you are talking about, and not the right answer. I hope you will try again. $\endgroup$
    – Alain Reve
    Commented Aug 21, 2022 at 15:52
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Does the third player

takes the ball and throws it

Just looking at what changes between 1 and 2 is that ball->throw and throws->balls. Applying the same logic again makes the 3rd player do the same as the 1st player.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice try, but the real answer has to be deduced from the indications given and it's not said it's a serial of some kind. $\endgroup$
    – Alain Reve
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 13:48
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Does the third player

catch the ball?

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  • $\begingroup$ He might, but you don't know that. What do you know for sure? $\endgroup$
    – Alain Reve
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 13:53
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The third player throws the ball and takes it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Still no solution given, keep it up :). BTW, it is a logical deduction problem and the solution, once found, seems obvious. $\endgroup$
    – Alain Reve
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 10:16
  • $\begingroup$ Hint : Use Occam's razor $\endgroup$
    – Alain Reve
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 18:27
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    $\begingroup$ So far your hints are compatible with most, if not all, existing answers. A good puzzle not only needs to have a good answer that matches, but also a good reason why other answers do not match. Currently you don't have a good reason on why some answers are not a match :) Welcome to SE, hope you can make better questions in the future. $\endgroup$
    – justhalf
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 7:38
  • $\begingroup$ Mostly, I would say some answers do not match because they're guesses. $\endgroup$
    – Alain Reve
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 11:54
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    $\begingroup$ @AlainReve you need to be able to explain why certain answers are incorrect (by referring to parts of the question that shows the incompatibility). $\endgroup$
    – justhalf
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 15:11
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Since you mentioned translation, not sure if throw could've meant a blanket in the original language.

If so, perhaps the 3rd player catches the ball (made from a throw by the 2nd player) from the 1st player and un-balls it back into a throw and gives it to the 2nd player.

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  • $\begingroup$ No, the original language is French. The term is also ambiguous in French, but in french a "throw" would mean a javelin. $\endgroup$
    – Alain Reve
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ @AlainReve in order to get the answer via reasoning, is it important to consider it was in French? Or is that irrelevant? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 0:11
  • $\begingroup$ It's irrelevant. But I was asked whether throw also meant a blanket in the original language. $\endgroup$
    – Alain Reve
    Commented Aug 23, 2022 at 10:07
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The third player throws the take and balls it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Please try again $\endgroup$
    – Alain Reve
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 13:49

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