0910.2: The Mixer
At the Colgate-Hamilton mixer, there were three couples. One couple was two Colgate students. One couple was two Hamilton students. The last couple was a mixed pair: a Colgate student and a Hamilton student. There were also three signs: ‘Colgate pair', ‘Hamilton pair', and ‘Mixed pair'. One sign was held by each couple, and each couple held a sign that incorrectly described them. You know none of the students, but can ask any of them whether they are Colgate or Hamilton students. Students will respond truthfully, but only about themselves, not about their partners.
What is the fewest number of questions in which you can determine which sign correctly describes which couple? Describe your solution completely.
Solutions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, or, via campus mail, to Russell Marcus, Philosophy Department. Make sure to include your contact information with your solution. A winner will be chosen at random among those who submit correct solutions. Any one may play the puzzle, but only current Hamilton College students may win prizes. If the winner of the puzzle is not a Hamilton College student, a secondary winner may be chosen.
Prize winners receive a t-shirt or mug from Lulasail, home of the best philosophy t-shirts on the web.