A window was broken in my house and I need to find out who did it, can you guys help me?

When asked who did it my friends replied with the following in order starting with 1:

  1. "I didn't do it"
  2. "1 is telling the truth"
  3. "4 is lying"
  4. "I swear it wasn't me"

The person whose story sounds fishy is the culprit. Who is it?


2 Answers 2


It was 3


When you were questioning 3, you haven't asked anything to 4 and he haven't answered anything, since you were asking in the order 1,2,3 and 4. So the statement "4 is lying" by 3 is wrong. And from your statement "The person whose story sounds fishy is the culprit. ", Friend '3' is the culprit.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Unless 4 is currently reclining, in which case 3 is telling the truth and 4 did it! $\endgroup$
    – Samthere
    May 28, 2015 at 14:45

The answer has been reworded.

At first I would say that number 3 is not a liar. It is because liars are usually smart enough to not to accuse anybody, if they are not sure they can make the words probable. If 3 did it, he wouldn't say "4 is lying" because he doesn't know what he is going to say. He does not know if number 4 has an alibi. It doesn't matter if you ask them one by one (whether they know what others say or not), or as a group. Normally 3 would say "I didn't do it", "4 did it", "I don't know, but I saw 4 playing ball near your window 5 minutes earlier" etc.

Number 4 says "I swear I didn't". A liar always needs to ensure his accuser, he's always trying to raise some emotions. This is why he uses big words like "I swear", "I vow", "I ensure" etc. He should have said "3, are you stupid? I wasn't there! Why do you lie?" or if he hadn't heard what 3 said just "I didn't" without "I swear".

Probably number 3 says "4 is lying" because he knows him well. 4 lies very often so 3 is trying to say to you "do not believe whatever 4 says, I know him, if you ask him, he will lie." Maybe 3 has the same experience as you? Maybe 3 asked 4 for something and was deceived? He trusts him no more and he's giving an advice to you.

Why don't you say there could be two or more liars? Why don't you think there were two perpetrators? For example 1 and 2: 2 says nothing about his guilt. He doesn't even say "I didn't". You ask him "did you?" and he says "1 is telling the truth". Strange for me.

At first I agreed with the other answer (I've even up-voted it), but this is not as clear as it seems for the first sight. I only wanted to show that 3 should not be taken as responsible, because this is not a puzzle, there is some fuzzy-logic in here.

(Please excuse me the first version of this answer)

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Why does a liar always say: "I swear"? $\endgroup$
    – Wouter
    May 28, 2015 at 11:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ To make anybody believe him. If one is known for saying the truth always, he does not need to use "I swear", "I ensure", "I vow" etc. $\endgroup$
    – Voitcus
    May 28, 2015 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ "You can always trust a dishonest man to be dishonest. Honestly, it's the honest ones you have to watch out for" $\endgroup$
    – ʰᵈˑ
    May 28, 2015 at 15:20
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I'd downvote this answer if I could. It makes no sense. $\endgroup$ May 28, 2015 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ I'm sorry all - I have reworded the answer adding some explanations. I hope it is clear now (@FreeAsInBeer why can't you downvote it?) $\endgroup$
    – Voitcus
    May 29, 2015 at 7:27

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