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Dividing the 'erb. (Posted on 2006-01-27) Difficulty: 3 of 5
Three cooks have each paid one third to purchase a bag of herbs. In the past, two of the cooks have divided their purchases in the following manner: First one cook would divide the herb, by eye, into two piles she considered to be equal. The second cook would then choose the pile she thought was bigger.

By what process may the three cooks divide their herbs in such a way that each was content that she had recieved at least one third of the total? (No scales or other devices are available to assist the division)

No Solution Yet Submitted by Sir Percivale    
Rating: 4.1000 (10 votes)

Comments: ( Back to comment list | You must be logged in to post comments.)
re: possibly a simpler solution | Comment 50 of 60 |
(In reply to possibly a simpler solution by artifex)

Jeremy, there may be a problem with your solution.  Rmemeber these cooks are a greedy bunch.  I am sure that the secon on,e would take the two smallest piles, such that the third one always ends up with a smaller amount.  You probably have to add the condition that number two automatically gets the pile that three doesn't take.  This way all two pile dividers have a reason to divide as good as possible.
  Posted by Hugo on 2006-02-22 15:38:44

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