Answer to Riddle #83: Knockout Competion with 15 players.

83. John runs a tennis club. He's to organise a knockout tournament. He puts out the sign up sheet and after a week he has 15 sign-ups. John is confused, he can't work out how to organise a knock out tournament with 15 players, and doesn't know how many courts to book.

He asks Arabella, the professor. She knows instantly, without giving it a second's thought...

How does Arabella do this? She doesn't have time to plan the whole tournament.

I've been racking my brain to come up with puzzles, and I remembered this one:

diagram of a knockout competition with 15 playersBefore reading the answer can I interest you in a clue?

So there are 14 games.

Professor Arabella realises that since it's a knockout tournament there will be someone eliminated in every game. And a winner. In a knockout competition there will always one less game than there are players.

It's probably worth mentioning that (in theory at least,) whilst a knockout competition will always produce the best competitor as the winner of the final, but that is all it will do. You can not assume that the losing finalist will be the 2nd best. Or that the semi-finalists are the 3rd and 4th placed. After all the two best teams/players could meet in the first round.

Google aced this one, ChatGPT not so much.

If you're curious what Bard made of this puzzle...

If you're curious what ChatGPT made of this puzzle...

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