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 Dragon Hunting (Posted on 2004-12-10)
Prince Valiant went to fight a 3-headed, 3-tailed dragon.

He has a magic sword that can, in one stroke, chop off either one head, two heads, one tail, or two tails.

This dragon is of a type related to the hydra; if one head is chopped off, a new head grows. In place of one tail, two new tails grow; in place of two tails, one new head grows; if two heads are chopped off, nothing grows.

What is the smallest number of strokes required to chop off all the dragon's heads and tails, thus killing it?

 See The Solution Submitted by SilverKnight Rating: 3.7778 (9 votes)

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 A Solution | Comment 1 of 37

I don't know if it's the fastest.

I will use this formatting: (What I chop off, number of heads left, number of tails left)

(2 heads, 1, 3)

(2 tails, 2, 1)

(2 heads, 0, 1)

(1 tail, 0, 2)

(1 tail, 0, 3)

(2 tails, 1, 1)

(1 tail, 1, 2)

(2 tails, 2, 0)

(2 heads, 0, 0)

Perhaps someone can find a solution with less than 9 choppings.

 Posted by Dustin on 2004-12-10 14:54:16

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