JonC 101 / Brainteaser Collection / Difficulty 1/5 Questions
The basic setup for each problem is given below. For more details, hints, and a solution to each, click on the problem's title.
Title Difficulty Basic Setup

Atop a high shelf are three bins. You know that each of these bins contains dozens of colored ping pong balls. These balls are all colored either black or white, however, the shelf is too high for you to actually see inside a bin. You can however, reach with your hand and pull a ball out of a bin and see what color that individual ball is.

Each bin has a label on it. These labels read "Black Balls," "White Balls," and "Mixed Colors." You are told that indeed there is a bin which has only black balls, one with only white, and one which is mixed, however, ALL of the labels on the bins are incorrect.

Click to learn what IS the fewest number of balls you need to draw to determine the correct labels By only drawing balls out of the bins, what is the minimum number of draws you would need (and how would you do it) to determine the correct labeling for the bins?


You may have seen this one in Die Hard: With a Vengeance...

You are by a fountain of water with two jugs. One fills up to exactly 3 Liters, while the other fills up to exactly 5 Liters.

A bomb next to the jugs has been activated and is primed to explode. The bomb can only be defused by placing a jug, with EXACTLY 4 liters of water in it, on a scale the bomb is connected to.

Note that these jugs are oddly shaped with no tick marks, so you can't simply fill the 5 liter jug "four fifths" full to get 4 liters.

How can you fill the appropriate jug with EXACTLY 4 liters of water so that you can deactivate the bomb?


Due to a sudden infection, your doctor has prescribed you to start taking 1 tablet of Axel Greez and 1 tablet of Betel Jewz every day.

You buy a bottle of each type of tablet, and go about your routine of having one each day. Today however, as you are getting the tablets out of their bottles, you accidentally shake 3 tablets out instead of 2.

Unfortunately, Axel Greez and Betel Jewz tablets look and smell exactly the same. They are the same size, the same color, the same shape, in fact, there is no way whatsoever to distinguish them now that they are out of the bottle. Thus, you don't know which tablet is which in your hand. However, by counting what's left in the bottles, you do know that, in your hand, you have 2 Axel Greez tablets and 1 Betel Jewz tablet.

Note: Skipping a day of medication could be fatal. Eating more than one Axel Greez tablet in one day could be fatal too.

What can you do to ensure no tablets go to waste, while also ensuring you take your proper amount of medication?

brainteaser/difficulty1.htm | Page last updated $Date: 2003/11/30 09:12:49 $