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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(2): Two, no One other method, no count count | Comment 12 of 27 |
(In reply to re: Two other methods, no chop chop by Lisa)


You are absolutely correct.  My counting method wouldn't work at all.  I had a momentary brain cloud and have no other excuse except that I didn't get my usual medication this morning, at least not in the proper dosage.

Your method certainly is correct, and several others have posted something similar.  I'm still not clear on which is the preferred etiquette:  trying one's hand and posting an original solution first without checking all the other posts    vs   reading all the posts first and then perhaps being redundant.   I'm always a bit worried about being reported to the department of redundancy dept.  but then I'm a little paranoid.  Like I said, I didn't get my meds today.

I still think the tasting would work, but I doubt if it's what the author of the question had in mind. 

  Posted by Larry on 2004-04-20 17:15:11
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