Telling the truth is generally a healthy lifestyle. In our lives, we can often get infuriated by liars, and this anecdotal puzzle is a great example of the chaos one little lie can cause.
Luigi was cruising to the finish line on Rainbow Drive, and suddenly hit by a barrage of red shells, causing him to drop down to 7th place, behind Bowser, Peach, Waluigi, Mario, Donkey Kong, and Yoshi. Infuriated, he wants to know who did this, and asks everyone who did it. Using the statements that each of the others make, we are supposed to find out who the culprit really is, but the culprit is lying. Here are the statements:
Peach: It wasn’t Mario.
Bowser: It wasn’t me.
Mario: It was either Donkey Kong or Bowser.
Yoshi: It wasn’t Peach.
Waluigi: It was either Yoshi or Donkey Kong.
Donkey Kong: It was either Yoshi or Bowser.
Try working out the solution yourself, and continue scrolling once you’ve finished.
It’s a given that there are countless ways to approach this problem. But what is the most simplistic way? I think that because some of the characters claim that it was one of two characters who did it, this is a valuable route to follow.
So Mario says that it was either DK (Donkey Kong) or Bowser, Waluigi says that it was either DK or Yoshi, and DK says it was either Yoshi or Bowser. What if we left DK’s testimony out for now. So Mario: DK or Bowser, and Waluigi: Yoshi or DK. We know that either one of these characters have to be telling the truth, so the other is the culprit, or both are telling the truth. If one is the culprit, it means the other is telling the truth. But none of them mentions the other. Therefore both have to be telling the truth.
Now we know that both Marion and Waluigi are telling the truth, so both their statements have to be true. So it was “either DK or Bowser” and it was “either Yoshi or DK”. As you may be able to notice, the only overlap in these statements is Donkey Kong, and so we can conclude that Donkey Kong has to be the culprit.
To summarize, we saw that Mario and Waluigi had testimonies that implied that both are telling the truth as none implicated the other, and therefore found the common ground that would allow both to be truthful.
To me the most intriguing part about this puzzle frankly the countless innovative ways one can take to approach it. Which approach did you take?