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Barbershop


A hair salon has three stylists. One of them is excellent, one is average, and, unfortunately, one is very poor. Every morning, the three stylists style each other's hair -- of course, no one styles her own hair, each one works on the hair of one of the other two ladies, and who styles whom is selected at random.

One day you walk into the shop to get your hair styled. Which stylist should you select in order to look your very best?
Suppose you are satisfied enough to return to the shop a second time. Whom should you select now?
(Please be sure to explain your answer.)


Answer

For the first time, choose the one with the poorest style. If your haircut was great the first time, use the same hair dresser next time. If your haircut was only average, then assuming you remembered the styles on your first visit, you choose the one who then had the average hairstyle. That will be the excellent stylist.

If your memory is as bad as mine you can still locate the excellent stylist. On your second visit look at the stylist who cut your hair the first time -- that much you surely remember. If that person has the excellent hair style, so to the one with the poor hairstyle, while if that person has the worst hair style, go to the one who looks average.

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Chatham, NJ
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This page revised   August 3, 2004
 
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