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There are three glasses on the table - 3, 5, and 8 oz. The first two are empty, the last contains 8 oz of water. By pouring water from one glass to another make at least one of them contain exactly 4 oz of water.
posted by steven | 12:13 AM
Here's one way of doing it :-- Fill the 5oz glass from the 8oz (0 - 5 - 3).- Fill the 3oz glass from the 5oz (3 - 2 - 3).- Pour the contents of the full 3oz glass into the 8oz (0 - 2 - 6).- Pour the contents of the 5oz glass (i.e. 2oz) into the 3oz. (2 - 0 - 6).- Fill the 5oz glass from the 8oz (which contains 6 oz). (2 - 5 - 1).- Fill the 3oz glass from the full 5oz glass. As the 3oz glass already contains 2oz, this will mean that 4oz are left in the 5oz glass. (3 - 4 - 1).There is another possible solution here - http://www.cut-the-knot.org/water2.shtml .Probably the easiest way to solve a puzzle like this is by drawing a 'graph' mapping out all the possible routes - there's an example at http://www.cut-the-knot.org/wgraph.shtml .
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