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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)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
 re(3): A Solution... I think | Comment 6 of 37 |
(In reply to re(2): A Solution... I think by Erik O.)

I'm in agreement there. If you were to follow that, what would happen if you cut off two tails? Would a head regrow, or would the dragon be dead? The problem would become ambiguous in this sense and I don't think it was intended this way.
 Posted by Eric on 2004-12-10 15:36:49

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