Early in the life of the ferocious Minotaur (the fabled half man/half bull), King Minos of Crete spoke to three of his youthful prisoners who were sharing a cell just outside Daedalus's Labyrinth. "You know that you will die if you fight the Minotaur unarmed. I propose therefore a chance at reprieve. I will separate and blindfold you and place either a red or a blue crown on your head. I will choose the color in each case by flipping one of my lovely Cretan coins, which you can assume to be fair. I will then place you at three spots evenly spaced around my lovely stadium.
"You will be surrounded by a screen that will permit your fellows to see your crown and you to see theirs. The screen will prevent you from sending and receiving any signals. (A guard standing next to you will cut off your head if you try.) So you cannot communicate with one another once you are in the stadium. At that point, I will have the guards remove your blindfolds.
This article was originally published with the title Crowns of the Minotaur.