Alice in Puzzle-Land — Raymond Smullyan

This Alice In Wonderland-inspired puzzle book is a fun setting for lots of logic puzzles. They are mostly the “Liar and Truther” type, like this one:

The sugar has been stolen! We know that either the Duchess or the Cook stole it. We also know that people who steal sugar always lie. The cook says the Duchess stole it, while the Duchess says the cook did not steal it. Who stole the sugar?

The puzzles gradually get trickier, eventually requiring dynamic epistemic logic concepts to solve them. For example, we might be given a puzzle which is not solvable. But when we find out that somebody else was able to solve it by getting one more piece of information, we might then be able to solve the problem even without finding out what that piece of information was! A few of the puzzles are even more involved. Mind-bending stuff!

Unusually for this sort of book, I actually worked my way through and solved every puzzle. I now feel that I have solved enough liar-truther puzzles to last me a very long time: some only took a few seconds, but some  took a fair bit of pen-and-paper action to sort out. A couple were slightly tedious, but still satisfying to complete. Nice to get through to the end, and the little touches of Carrollian whimsy made it all just a bit more fun.

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