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An Olympic judge rushes into the barbershop. "You need to help me!" he pleads. "I have to judge in 10 minutes, but I've been traveling so much I look just awful." The barber looks at him carefully. "Your hair is quite long. I'll need to cut it. And you'd look silly with a beard and such short hair. You're in luck, as I've just had a cancellation. Have a seat!"

The barber does his work and goes to collect the payment. "Oh dear," said the judge. "I haven't any local currency to pay you with." Luckily, he and the barber were able to work out a deal. The judge, having fully paid the barber, leaves to go judge his match.

On his lunch break, the barber was watching the Olympic games and sure enough there was the judge, attention gazed on the performers, looking for any mistakes he could find.

  • Why was the judge looking for mistakes so intently?
  • What was the deal between the barber and the judge?

Clarifications:

  • The judge is an honorable judge. There is no foul play.
  • The judge and the barber will never interact again. The deal is fully concluded in a mutually acceptable way.
  • Nothing illegal is transpiring.
  • Currency is not involved in any way.
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closed as too broad by xnor, mmking, Rob Watts, Aza Jun 12 '15 at 22:17

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Given that answers that fit are being ruled out with additional stipulations after the fact, and I expect this to continue, I'm voting to close as too broad. $\endgroup$ – xnor Jun 12 '15 at 21:45
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    $\begingroup$ All conditions are satisfied by this solution : Judge has free tickets to the event, and he gave the ticket as payment for the Barber. Judge was looking intently for mistakes because that is what he has to do [[[[ no foul play, honorable Judge, no more interaction, nothing illegal, no currency ]]]] $\endgroup$ – Prem Jun 18 '15 at 6:18
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    $\begingroup$ Now I want to know what the answer to this lost gem is. $\endgroup$ – question_asker Feb 25 '16 at 18:36
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    $\begingroup$ So far I can only think that awarding a perfect score would require him to award a 10, which looks like binary for two and requires two bits to display... $\endgroup$ – feelinferrety Mar 16 '16 at 18:17
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    $\begingroup$ The comment above yours nailed it. He had the cards in his bag, and gave the guy the 10 card because, as everyone knows (or so I thought) a shave and a haircut costs two bits, for which a 1 and a 0 certainly fit the bill. $\endgroup$ – corsiKa Mar 28 '16 at 14:49
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Hmm, very open ended question.

Only can come up with a fairly stupid guess:

The barber shaved his shops name onto this judges head. Judge looked intently to ensure the back of his head was always to the TV viewers camera.

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As for the mistakes

He was looking for mistakes in peoples haircuts and grooming. You never specify what type of mistakes the judge is looking for.

And the payment

He recommends the barber to the athletes

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  • $\begingroup$ It's cool, but their business is already concluded. The barber was compensated in full before the judge left the barber shop. $\endgroup$ – corsiKa Jun 12 '15 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ You might want to clarify that in your post as I took my answer to fulfill "Fully concluded ..." (as an agreement for referrals is an equitable conclusion) and "Never interact again". Maybe add the stipulation that "the barber was fully paid before the judge left the shop" at the end of your comment $\endgroup$ – JGreenwell Jun 12 '15 at 21:48
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    $\begingroup$ That's an interesting interpretation of fully concluded =) but sure. $\endgroup$ – corsiKa Jun 12 '15 at 21:49
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The judge is judging a diving event. Competitive swimmers and divers shave their bodies to be more hydrodynamic. The judge lowers scores by looking more intently for mistakes, which makes contestants think they are performing poorly, and that they could do better getting shaved by the barber as a professional.

By doing this equally to all competitors, the judge feels like his is keeping the integrity of the competition.

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Could it be:

The barber, supporting the local team, made a deal with the judge that, for each mistake by a foreign performer caught, he will deduct $1 equivalent from the debt?

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  • $\begingroup$ Nope. Their business is entirely and satisfactorily concluded. $\endgroup$ – corsiKa Jun 12 '15 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ That would be illegal and dishonorable. $\endgroup$ – PStag Mar 6 '16 at 13:20
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    $\begingroup$ @PStag Please note that the Clarifications are added after most of the answers here are posted, thus question is marked as being too broad $\endgroup$ – Alex Mar 7 '16 at 14:50
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It rather sounds like the judge "paid" the barber by offering to exert bias against certain athletes by looking for mistakes in their routines more intently. Perhaps the barber has a favorite they'd like to see win, or is loyal to their national team, or has bets outstanding on an event.

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  • $\begingroup$ I can assure you, the judge is beyond reproach, and the barber is a man who loves true competition more than winning. I like how you know it wasn't actually the answer, thus dodging the downvotes. =) $\endgroup$ – corsiKa Jun 12 '15 at 21:23
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    $\begingroup$ @corsiKa You should edit the question to include these further restrictions then. I suspect though that people will come up with answers other than what you intend but still fit the information given, as is prone to happen for riddles of the form "What did X do and why?" $\endgroup$ – xnor Jun 12 '15 at 21:26
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The judge was watching closely because:

He wanted to minimize the total of the scores he gave.

This is because his deal with the barber was:

The judge would pay the barber the total sum of the scores he gave to the participants.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nope. Their business is entirely and satisfactorily concluded. $\endgroup$ – corsiKa Jun 12 '15 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ @corsiKa Ah. I see this requirement was edited in later. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Jun 12 '15 at 21:41

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