Enigma 24: A was absent
26 December 2012
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From New Scientist #1166, 2nd August 1979 [link]
Things have got very slack on the Island of Imperfections recently, since the arrival of the Jokers, and it seems to happen quite often now that when someone is really needed they are not to be found. The other day, for example, in one of the tribal tests which are — and I hope always will be — an integral part of life in this wonderful place, A was just not to be found. But I had better explain.
There are four tribes on the island, The Pukkas, who always tell the truth, the Wotta-Woppas, who never tell the truth, the Shilli-Shallas, who make statements which are alternately true and false or false and true, and the Jokers whose rules, when three statements are made, are any rules that are different from any of the other three tribes.
This story deals with four men, A, B, C and D, one from each tribe. B, C and D speak as follows:
B: 1. I am a Joker; 2. C sometimes tells the truth; 3. D is a Pukka.
C: A is a Pukka.
D: B is a Joker.
But where was A? Although he was not around you should be able to find the tribes to which the four men belong.