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Pill Puzzler (Posted on 2004-04-20) Difficulty: 2 of 5
You've been placed on a course of expensive medication in which you are to take one tablet of medicine A and one tablet of medicine B daily.

You must be careful that you take just one of each because taking more of either can have serious side effects. Taking an A without taking a B, or vice versa, can also be very serious, because they must be taken together in order to be effective. In summary, you must take exactly one of the A pills and one of the B pills at one time.

Therefore, you open up the A bottle, and you tap one A pill into your hand. You put that bottle aside and you open the B bottle. You do the same, but by mistake, two Bs fall into your hand with the A pill.

Now, here's the problem. You weren't watching your hand as the pills fell into it, so you can't tell the A pill apart from the two B pills. The pills look identical. They are the same size, same weight, same color, same everything, and they are not marked differently in any way. What are you going to do? You cannot tell which pill is which, and you cannot afford to throw them away and start over again.

How do you get your daily dose of exactly one A and exactly one B without wasting any of the pills?

See The Solution Submitted by Popstar Dave    
Rating: 2.6667 (15 votes)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
re: Two other methods, no chop chop | Comment 10 of 27 |
(In reply to Two other methods, no chop chop by Larry)

I'm not sure if method #1 would work Larry.  I thought of that too, but when you count the pills still in the bottle, you know that there will be one less B in the bottle, because you know that you have two Bs in your hand.  The problem is that the three pills in your hand look identical, so there's no way to tell which is which.

As for #2, that might work, assuming that the pills do taste differently.  Most of the pills I've taken in my life all tasted the same... bitter and icky. :-)


  Posted by Lisa on 2004-04-20 16:53:26
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