Friday, July 15, 2011

Tangled Treasure...

You come upon 3 chests containing coins. You cannot see inside any of them. Each has a hole in the top and a sign on the front. They are labeled "GOLD," "SILVER," and "GOLD AND SILVER." Each is labeled incorrectly. You are permitted to reach into one box and remove and inspect one coin. You may not peek or feel around inside any chest. Staying within the rules given, how do you label each chest correctly?

The solution is to draw one coin from the chest labeled "GOLD AND SILVER." The identity of that coin determines what is in that chest since it is labeled incorrectly and cannot contain both gold and silver. Once the determination is made for the third chest the sign "GOLD AND SILVER" can be removed. Depending on what was pulled from the chest, the matching sign can then be taken from one of the remaining chests and placed properly. Since each chest is labeled incorrectly, the remaining incorrect sign should be removed and placed on the vacant chest. The "GOLD AND SILVER" sign can now be placed on the last chest and all three will be labeled correctly.


  1. I'm assuming some rules that weren't written here:
    1. One box contains only gold, one box contains only silver and one box contains both.
    2. All boxes contain something.

    Reach into the "gold and silver" box. Whatever you get is what's in there because there must only be a single type of coin in that box.

    Let's say you get gold from the "gold and silver" box. Gold only can't be in the "gold" box, so the "gold" box must contain silver. The "silver" box has to contain gold and silver because it's mislabeled and therefore can't contain silver only.

    If you get silver from the "gold and silver" box, then the "silver" box contains gold and silver and the gold box contains silver, using the same reasoning as above.

    Ouch. My brain hurts. I didn't Google this. If my imagined extra rules don't apply, then I don't know. Lol. Scoop! I'm only realizing mid-comment that this is your blog. What happened? I thought I had visited this blog before. You decided to redo?

  2. Are there prizes if we guess the answer correctly?

  3. @Lola - You got it right! Great job... as to your question... I think you confused "Logical Rumpus" (this blog) with my poetry blog "Lyrical Rumpus." Thanks for recognizing it was me...

    @LegalMist - maybe down the line... but for now, it's just for fun...