A king saw in his dream that all his teeth were gone. So he called an astrologer for its explanation. The astrologer replied, "Your whole family will die in front of you." After hearing the sad explanation, the king killed the astrologer. (Though the explanation of the astrologer was true.) Then the king called for another astrologer. The explanation of the second explanation was also true. But the king didn't kill him after hearing that, rather gave him gifts.

My question is

Why didn't the king kill the second astrologer?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ What. What. What. $\endgroup$ Apr 19, 2018 at 13:59
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This seems way too broad. The second astrologer could've predicted anything good and it would be a valid answer. His dream can have multiple correct explanations, no? $\endgroup$
    – Riley
    Apr 19, 2018 at 14:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If both astrologers made the identical prediction with the identical wording, please fix it so that is clear — right now it's not clear what the second astrologer's explanation was, other than that it was something true, and I think that changes the meaning dramatically. (You might want to re-read your post before submitting it; there's a typo, and the wording is unclear.) $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Apr 19, 2018 at 14:10

3 Answers 3



the second asrologer is from his family, and killing him would fulfil the first prophecy

  • $\begingroup$ So, what could be the second explanation, if it were as true as the first? That should be the other way round: the first astrologer is from his family, that's why he died in front of the king, and the second astrologer isn't. They gave the same explanation. $\endgroup$
    – xhienne
    Apr 19, 2018 at 20:01

As seems to often be the case with powerful figures

The second astrologer twisted it to "You will outlive all of your family", or something similar?


One possible explanation

The reasons he killed the first astrologer but gave gifts to the second were completely unrelated to what the astrologers' explanations were. The puzzle implies the killing/gifting happened after the explanations, not because of the explanations.


The second astrologer gave an explanation for something other than his dream, and the explanation for this other occurrence happened to be a good one, deserving of gifts.


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