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It's time for lunch, and I want to eat my favorite Regresso™ Chicken Noodle Soup. Ideally, I would pour all the soup from the can to my bowl, microwave the bowl, then eat the soup. Unfortunately, there's more soup than will fit in the bowl: the bowl will only hold 60% of the soup's total volume. I'm unbelievably lazy, so I refuse to wash more than one bowl.

With this information, I came up with a brilliant idea: pour half of the soup in the bowl, microwave the bowl, eat the soup, and then do the same with the other half of the soup. But there's one problem: Whenever I pour soup, all the liquid comes out before any of the chicken/noodles. And I don't want to eat one bowl of broth and a separate bowl of chicken/noodles without the soup! I want my bowl to contain 50% chicken/noodle and 50% liquid, just how it comes.

So how can I have my soup and eat it too?

Summary of requirements:

  • I'm very hungry, so I must eat all of the soup.
  • Before I even think about putting any soup in my mouth, it better be right out of the microwave in the bowl, 50% chicken/noodle, and 50% liquid.
  • I cannot use anything other than the can, bowl, microwave, and my mouth. (No second bowl, no filter, not even a spoon)
  • I better not overflow the bowl, or otherwise spill any soup.
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  • $\begingroup$ Just to be clear, do you have a definitely-good solution in mind, or are you looking for help with a problem you don't know how to solve? :-) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 12 '18 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan This is a real problem I ran into, and I came up with a good solution that satisfies my requirements. Although in practical terms, I'd still probably just use two bowls. $\endgroup$ – Riley Jun 13 '18 at 0:00
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I don't know

how hot you like your chicken noodle soup

but it seems to me that your microwave

can probably heat a bowl of broth to a temperature much higher than you would actually want to eat

in which case the following might be viable:

pour liquid into bowl; microwave just the liquid until it is close to boiling (or maybe some lower temperature would do better; figure it out by trial and error); pour liquid back into can; allow to equilibrate; eat out of can.

This doesn't satisfy one of your stated requirements:

"it better be right out of the microwave in the bowl"

but the reason for that requirement is extremely unclear to me and I am hoping to provoke you into explaining why it is there :-).


Here is another approach that seems to me inferior in practice to the above, but I think it satisfies your requirements.

If you empty out as much of the can as you can into the bowl, then if I'm understanding right

you get all the liquid and 1/5 of the solid matter.

You can

then pour most of the liquid back until you have equal quantities of solid and liquid in your bowl -- this will be 1/5 of the can. Heat that up, eat it, and then repeat. This time you start with 0.4 cans each of solid and liquid, so you get 0.4 liquid + 0.2 solid in the bowl, you pour back 0.2 liquid, and you get to eat 2/5 of the original can contents in bowl #2. Then on the third iteration you just pour everything into the bowl, heat it up, and eat.

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  • $\begingroup$ As you were writing that, I was adding some wording to clarify my attitude to your second requirement :-). I mean, it feels like it's there to exclude an otherwise perfectly good solution that happens not to be the one you were thinking of -- but perhaps I misunderstand. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 13 '18 at 0:04
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    $\begingroup$ Yes, your second approach is the correct one! I know it is impractical, but I'm willing to work very hard to stay lazy. :) $\endgroup$ – Riley Jun 13 '18 at 0:12
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    $\begingroup$ I'm glad I was successful in reading your mind :-). $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 13 '18 at 0:13
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    $\begingroup$ ...but @Riley, why not just shake the soup can and then pour half of it in the bowl? $\endgroup$ – LinuxBlanket Jun 13 '18 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ @LinuxBlanket I want to pour the soup carefully to avoid spilling, so whether or not I shake the can ahead of time, the liquid comes out before solids. $\endgroup$ – Riley Jun 13 '18 at 18:24

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