All about flooble | fun stuff | Get a free chatterbox | Free JavaScript | Avatars
 perplexus dot info

 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.)
 Biologic not math answer | Comment 9 of 37 |
I agree that 9 is the "correct" answer, but consider this:

In 3 cuts, you can render the beast headless, and with only one tail (cut 2 tails, then cut 2 heads, then cut 2 heads).   Clearly we have at this point not yet satisfied the sentence: "What is the smallest number of strokes required to chop off all the dragon's heads and tails, thus killing it?"

But how could an animal live without any heads?  I couldn't eat, so would it not eventually die?  Further, since this is an endangered species, wouldn't Prince Valiant face serious prison time?
 Posted by Larry on 2004-12-10 16:03:43

 Search: Search body:
Forums (2)