I wrote the following puzzle a couple of years ago. Since I no longer remember the solution, I feel it's a good enough puzzle to share.
On accusation of littering, you and your assistant are arrested and charged by a corrupt government. The government is attempting to follow the remnants of its misunderstood constitution, while incarcerating as many criminals as possible. The prosecutor explains what will happen:
- You and your assistant will be allowed as much time as necessary to prepare for your defense. The prosecutor's office will monitor your preparations.
- The court will separate you until the end of the trial.
- The court will give to each of you a list of ten words you may not speak at trial. If you speak any of these words at trial, you will be held in contempt and jailed.
- You will each enter a statement. Your statement may be any one of the words in the court's official dictionary.
- The court will inform each of you of the statement made by the other.
- You will each give testimony. Your testimony must be any one of the words in the court's official dictionary. If your testimonies do not match you will be convicted of perjury and imprisoned.
- The court will ask the prosecution to present its case. If this happens, the prosecution will present no evidence and you will be released.
The prosecutor gives you two copies of the court's official dictionary which you may use during the proceedings. A review on the cover says that it contains over one hundred and seventy thousand different words.
You have a strong feeling that the prosecutor's office and the court will collude in any and every way possible to either convict you or hold you in contempt. The court may decide to issue different lists of banned words to each of you. The court may wait to prepare the list of proscribed words for one of you until after the other has entered a statement. It is unlikely that, if you are jailed for contempt or imprisoned for perjury, you will ever be released. You and your assistant are given time to prepare.
What do you do?