Thursday, November 16, 2006

Another Puzzle About Weighing Things

This puzzle is part of a famous family of puzzles and so it might be easy, if you're familiar with that set of puzzles.

You have five jars of pills. One jar of pills is contaminated. The only way to tell which pills are contaminated is by weight. A regular pill weighs 10 grams and a contaminated pill weighs 9 grams. You are given a scale and allowed to make just one measurement with it. How do you tell which jar is contaminated?

3 comments:

matthew said...

it's as easy as 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Joe said...

Are the contaminated pills dangerous?

michael said...

hmmmm...
I can only imagine what sort of solution you may be considering. How about you include any conditionals or dependancies on the dangerousness - maybe option (a) they're bad, but harmless, and (b) they're lethal.