Ain’t so smart

Posted in Whatever Else on October 30th, 2007 by bill


Marilyn v. Savant has the biggest brain on the planet and likes to sit on motorcycles.

It’s a happy day for me when I can catch Marilyn vos Savant, supposedly the world’s smartest woman, in an error. For those not familiar with the suspiciously named Ms. vos S., she — according to her Web site — “was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for five years under ‘Highest IQ’ for both childhood and adult scores” and “has since been inducted into the Guinness Hall of Fame.” She also publishes a weekly column in Parade magazine, where she shares stimulating brain-teasers and smarty-pants opinions on all sorts of random subjects.

Well, I hate to gloat, but I’ve found a case where Marilyn got one wrong. In a recent column, she printed the following question (note the clever Three’s Company reference):

Jack, Janet and Chrissy meet at their corner coffeehouse and buy half a dozen doughnuts. Each friend always tells the truth or always lies. Jack says that he got one doughnut, but Janet says that Jack got two, and Chrissy says that Jack got more than three. On the other hand, all three friends agree that Janet got two. Assuming that each friend got at least one and that no doughnut was cut and divided, how many doughnuts did each friend get?

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