Unexpected Hanging Paradox


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The story of a judge’s sadistic mental torture of a prisoner who was already sentenced to death.

In the story of the unexpected hanging paradox, a man is sentenced to be hanged and the judge decrees that he will be hanged at noon sometime between Monday and Friday, but tells the prisoner that he will not tell him which day he will be hanged so that he will be surprised whenever it happens. As the prisoner sits in his cell pondering the judge’s words, he starts to try to outsmart the judge and figure out when it is he’ll be hanged. Get the rest of the story by listening to the episode. Tell us what you think the solution is in the comments below.

unexpected hanging
By Medjaï (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Beer:

Ghost Cow – Nine Band Brewing Company

The Links:

The Rest of Us – video

WolframAlpha – MathWorld

Timothy Y. Chow – M.I.T.

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