-3
$\begingroup$

There are $n$ jellybeans in a bottle with unknown dimensions. What is the only surefire way of knowing how many jellybeans are in the bottle?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1, an easy question, but still might be interesting to the beginners. $\endgroup$ – Kenshin Nov 8 '14 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ I've made a discussion about problem difficulty here: meta.puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/1391/… $\endgroup$ – Kenshin Nov 8 '14 at 13:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Maybe this is lateral thinking? I mean, the only reason this wouldn't be immediately answered (and thus not really a puzzle) is because people try to ignore trivial answers. $\endgroup$ – TheRubberDuck Nov 8 '14 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ These types of questions attract the dumbness in my brain, hahah DVL16 $\color{darkorange}{\bigstar}$ :P $\endgroup$ – Mr Pie Aug 29 '18 at 7:15
9
$\begingroup$

Perhaps by counting the number of jellybeans in the bottle.

$\endgroup$
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Alternative Answer: Eat them and say 0! $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 8 '14 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ Could you place this as a spoiler? $\endgroup$ – warspyking Nov 8 '14 at 13:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @warspyking eating them all means 0 are in the bottle, 0!=1 isn't zero :P $\endgroup$ – libathos Nov 10 '14 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ You'd better pour them out of the bottle first, otherwise you can only see the outer layer. $\endgroup$ – singletee Feb 9 '15 at 22:07
8
$\begingroup$

You can empty the bottle and count the jellybeans on the table.

$\endgroup$
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Why even bother counting them? If they're no longer in the bottle, the bottle contains zero jellybeans. $\endgroup$ – Simon Forsberg Nov 9 '14 at 0:46
5
$\begingroup$

There is another way that is probably far less time-consuming, depending on $n$.

Weigh the bottle of jellybeans. Call this value $F$.
Pour out the bottle of jellybeans.
Weigh the empty bottle. Call this value $E$.
Weigh a single jellybean. Call this value $J$.

The number of jellybeans is

$\frac{F-E}{J}$.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You have no measure of the standard deviation of jelly bean mass this way. For a very large population, this will not produce a concrete answer. $\endgroup$ – Doresoom Jan 30 '15 at 16:18
1
$\begingroup$

Eat all of the jellybeans because jellybeans are yummy. There are 0 jellybeans in the bottle.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.