Thursday, February 16, 2006

An easy puzzle for the long weekend

Puzzle #4
You have three baskets. One only contains apples. One only contains oranges. And the last one is an even mix of apples and oranges. The three boxes are labeled. But all labels are placed incorrectly. Your job is to fix the three labels. You can reach in any basket, take one fruit out, examine it, and put it back. There is no other way to examine or look at the baskets. You want to minimize the number of fruits that you take out to examine. What do you do?

The answer posted for Puzzle #3 is correct. But that's based on algebra and that's not fun. I like this proof more as it's philosophical. Two real numbers are different if and only if there exists another real number between them. There is nothing between .99999... and 1. QED.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pick up a fruit from the box marked as mix of apples and oranges. If it is orange, mark it as orange.
The one marked as orange becomes apple and the one marked as apple becomes mixed fruit box.

You just need to pick one fruit to lable the boxes.

10:13 AM  
Blogger jagadish said...

But the one marked with orange can mix of both. so what is the solution. mail me at

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i put all the 3 basket in one and i label it orange + apple :)

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i cant get the solution..

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand because if you pick one fruit it can be either the apple one or the orange one ir even the mixed one since they would have both!! If you get the answer email me at

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all the labels are marked incorrectly, right?
which means the basket labeled "apples and oranges" is wrong.
i'd reach in there and mark it according to which fruit i pull out - i'll say orange, for this answer.
then, i'm guessing, the basket labeled orange will have apples in it.
and the basket marked oranges will have both apples and oranges. i right?

6:15 PM  
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7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


6:01 AM  

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