Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [mathematics]

A puzzle strongly related to mathematical facts and objects, or whose solution needs serious mathematical arguments. General mathematics questions are off-topic but can be asked on Mathematics Stack Exchange.

16
votes
2answers
6k views

A general solution to the decanting problem? (aka jug-pouring, water-pouring)

Take a look at these two questions: - A Set of Water Jug Challenges - Pouring problem Now I'm asking for a generalised solution to that problem. I define the problem as follows: You are required ...
30
votes
2answers
3k views

Determine the algorithm

So I was given this puzzle quite some time ago and just thought it would make a nice addition to this site: Your task is to determine the method how the result is determined from the given number. A ...
20
votes
2answers
8k views

Coin weighing problem

You are given ten stacks of golden coins, each stack consisting of ten coins and a digital scale with arbitrary precision. You know that all stacks of coins are made from gold, weighing 10 grams per ...
23
votes
6answers
70k views

Make numbers 1 - 30 using the digits 2, 0, 1, 8

It's 2018 so let's repeat last year's challenge with new digits. This is similar to the "Four fours" puzzle, but using the digits 2, 0, 1 and 8. Rules: Use all four digits exactly once Allowed ...
54
votes
10answers
40k views

A camel transporting bananas

A somewhat well-known puzzle is described as such: You have a pile of 3,000 bananas. You wish to transport them to a place 1,000 miles away on the back of a camel; however, the camel can only carry ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

N logicians wearing hats of N colors

N logicians are wearing hats which can be of N different colors (each hat has one color; there can be multiple hats with the same color). Each logician can see the colors of all hats except his own. ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

N balls and a scale

The question of twelve balls and a scale is probably the best-known example of the "find the ball of a different weight" problem. But does it generalize? Is there a general way to find a weighing ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

The Monty Hall problem

I'm amazed that, although well known, this problem hasn't been posted yet. Monty Hall You are on a game show. The host of the show shows you three doors. He tells you that behind one of them, is a ...
107
votes
6answers
23k views

100 Prisoners' Names in Boxes

Names in Boxes The names of 100 prisoners are placed in 100 wooden boxes, one name to a box, and the boxes are lined up on a table in a room. One by one, the prisoners are led into the room;...
114
votes
9answers
17k views

Paying the Troll toll

You are on your way to visit your Grandma, who lives at the end of the valley. It's her birthday, and you want to give her the cakes you've made. Between your house and her house, you have to cross 7 ...
30
votes
7answers
5k views

Dinosaur egg drop

Archeologists discover two dinosaur eggs, and you are given the chance to test the durability of these eggs (bad move on their part). Suppose that these eggs will absorb a specific amount of force ...
10
votes
6answers
432 views

Find the value of $\bigstar$: Puzzle 1 - Evaluation

This puzzle replaces all numbers with other symbols. Your job, as the title suggests, is to find what number fits in the place of $\bigstar$. All symbols abide to the following rules: Each symbol ...
118
votes
8answers
19k views

The Sheikh dies

The Sheikh dies, leaving behind three sons, 17 camels and the following order: His oldest son shall inherit one in two camels. His middle son shall inherit one in three camels. His youngest son shall ...
20
votes
3answers
5k views

The lake monster

You are on a rowboat in the middle of a large, perfectly circular lake. On the perimeter of the lake is a monster who wants to eat you, but fortunately, he can't swim. He can run (along the perimeter)...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Nerds, Jocks, and Lockers

Here's an oldie but goodie from The Daily WTF; I paraphrase to avoid copyright issues: A middle school math teacher, who also happened to be the P.E. coach, made the following deal with the non-...
14
votes
6answers
3k views

Use 2 0 1 and 8 to make 67

Use $2$ $0$ $1 $ and $8$ to make the number $67$ RULES You must use all 4 digits. Only the digits 2, 0, 1, and 8 can be used. You can make multi-digit numbers out of the numbers. Examples: 20, 82, ...
6
votes
3answers
238 views

Find the value of $\bigstar$: Puzzle 2 - Switch-a-roo

This puzzle replaces all numbers with other symbols. Your job, as the title suggests, is to find what number fits in the place of $\bigstar$. All symbols abide to the following rules: Each symbol ...
47
votes
11answers
244k views

6, the magic number

Here's a fun (albeit difficult) one: Make these equations true using arithmetic operations: ...
29
votes
3answers
4k views

Pirates and gold coins

A group of N pirates has come by a chest containing 200 gold coins. Their rules require that the coins be distributed by the following approach. The pirates are ranked from fiercest to meekest and ...
8
votes
4answers
229 views

Find the value of $\bigstar$: Puzzle 3 - Substitution

This puzzle replaces all numbers with other symbols. Your job, as the title suggests, is to find what number fits in the place of $\bigstar$. All symbols abide by the following rules: Each symbol ...
12
votes
3answers
872 views

Input/Output Problem #1

The basis for this problem is that you did to make an optimal pattern so that all inputted sequences will be "accepted" if they fit the rules of the problem and "rejected" if they break any of them. ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Make numbers 93 using the digits 2, 0, 1, 8

I have a 1 to 100 building challenge with 2, 0, 1, 8, all made but 93 is not made. I need your help! This is similar to the "Four fours" puzzle, but using the digits 2, 0, 1 and 8. Rules: Use all ...
20
votes
4answers
5k views

Hidden in plain sight - By what method do these images hide a prime number?

Note: This question has been severely edited from its original version to better fit the format of this site. Some answers below - including the accepted, correct answer - have been given based on the ...
31
votes
17answers
11k views

Use 2, 0, 1 and 8 to make 109

Assemble a formula using the numbers $2$, $0$, $1$, and $8$ in any order that equals 109. You may use the operations $x + y$, $x - y$, $x \times y$, $x \div y$, $x!$, $\sqrt{x}$, $\sqrt[\leftroot{-2}\...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

N pirates steal their share of bananas to the benefit of a monkey

The following is a type of logic / math puzzle I've yet to see on this site. I feel it belongs because the kernel of this problem can be reworked into other puzzles. $N$ pirates find themselves ...
23
votes
4answers
6k views

Variation of 100 prisoners light problem

There is a classic problem below for which Dr. Yisong Song wrote a very well written and thought out series of solutions. The variation here I've never seen anywhere but am curious. I want to work it ...
16
votes
2answers
10k views

Write twenty-four from four numbers

Write 24 using the four numbers 1, 3, 4, 6 and basic arithmetic. Explanations: The given are numbers, not digits, so you can't group them using decimal notation. For example, you can't create the ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

20 coins on the table

Two boys , Brian and Gabe, decide to play a game. They lay 20 coins on the table. Each player took turns taking 1, 2, or 3 coins. Whoever took the last coin won. Brian thought if he went first, he'd ...
14
votes
3answers
27k views

10 digit number where first n digits are divisible by n

What is the complete set of 10-digit numbers using each value ($0$-$9$) once, such that the first $n$ digits form a number divisible by $n$ (for $n \in \{1,2,...,10\}$)? E.g. if the number were $...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Horses and Tracks

I have seen this question before and I am intrigued that there might be various ways it can be solved. I do know of one way, but I am trying to find out if there is any other approach possible. The ...
10
votes
6answers
7k views

1 Fake Coin among N Amount of coins

You are given $N$ coins which consists of only $1$ fake coin. You also have a sensitive old-fashioned Pan Balance Scale. You are asked to find the fake coin in totally 5 times weighing on the Pan ...
6
votes
2answers
167 views

Find the value of $\bigstar$: Puzzle 4 - In Between

This puzzle replaces all numbers with other symbols. Your job, as the title suggests, is to find what number fits in the place of $\bigstar$. All symbols abide to the following rules: Each symbol ...
76
votes
7answers
17k views

Why does this solution guarantee that the prince knocks on the right door to find the princess?

I found this puzzle online: On the top floor of a castle lives a princess. The floor has 17 bedrooms arranged in a row. Each bedroom has doors connecting to the adjoining bedrooms as well as to the ...
14
votes
1answer
926 views

One beer too many

You're standing outside your apartment building after a late night out, with perhaps one beer too many, and you realize you have completely forgotten the code to get in. Luckily, you're a mathematical ...
27
votes
3answers
4k views

Maximum time for ants to fall off stick

Suppose there are $n$ ants on a stick which has length 1. At any time, the ants may be facing left or right, the initial directions of the ants are arbitrary. Each ant can be modeled as a point in the ...
5
votes
7answers
6k views

Help understanding the solution to a “shooting puzzle”

I need help understanding the solution to the following puzzle: Puzzle: There is a "triangular" duel between the three shooters. Everyone shoots one by one, can shoot once and any person he wants. ...
4
votes
2answers
225 views

Find the value of $\bigstar$: Puzzle 5 - Every little Symbol

This puzzle replaces all numbers (and operations) with other symbols. Your job, as the title suggests, is to find what value fits in the place of $\bigstar$. All symbols abide to the following rules:...
34
votes
3answers
5k views

Do better than chance

You and an opponent are playing the following game: Your opponent picks two different real numbers, however he wants to, and writes them on two cards, which he presents to you face down You choose ...
44
votes
10answers
132k views

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = 100

The sequence of numbers $1\ 2\ 3\ 4\ 5\ 6\ 7\ 8\ 9$ has the property that you can insert mathematical operators in between the numbers from $1$ to $9$ and make the expression evaluate to 100. For ...
12
votes
3answers
874k views

Brooklyn 99 riddle: Weighing Islanders [duplicate]

This one comes from this week's Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode! There is an island with 12 islanders. All of the islanders individually weigh exactly the same amount, except for one, who either weighs ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

4D Maze Creation!

I have a problem for anybody who cares to try. You're job is to take a 10x10x10x10 size tesseract and design a maze that fits. The maze must be a perfect maze (no loops, one path cannot be followed ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Strategy to beat the casino over the long haul

$A$ and $B$ are attempting to beat the casino again, and the rules are the same: Each round, $A$, $B$, and the casino simultaneously decide to show a $0$ or a $1$. If all three numbers match, $A$ ...
14
votes
0answers
610 views

Peaceful Encampments

This math puzzle is due to Donald Knuth (as far as I know; maybe he got it from someone else) circa 2014. Consider a plain represented by the unit square. On this plain we want to “peacefully ...
4
votes
1answer
525 views

Check to see if a Configuration is Possible: prove there's an Hamiltonian path on a connected subset of the square grid graph

Alright, here's a new one for you guys. Instead of solving it, you need to determine if any given configuration is possible to solve, without actually solving it. It needs to be a general method of ...
3
votes
3answers
368 views

Find the value of $\bigstar$: Puzzle 6 - Enclosed Operations

This puzzle replaces all numbers (and operations) with other symbols. Your job, as the title suggests, is to find what value fits in the place of $\bigstar$. All symbols abide to the following rules:...
1
vote
1answer
272 views

Master and Slave versus Bob: hard version

Continuation of: "Sub-puzzle: Master and Slave versus Bob the Violent but Honest Psychopath" and "Master and Slave versus Bob: easy version" The hard version is identical to the easy version (see ...
0
votes
1answer
810 views

Derivative of the coin weight problem [duplicate]

Most people are familiar with the following problem: A well-known example has nine (or fewer) items, say coins (or balls), that are identical in weight save for one, which in this example is ...
122
votes
8answers
30k views

How can 64 = 65?

Here is a interesting picture with two arrangements of four shapes. How can they make a different area with the same shapes?
61
votes
3answers
4k views

A secret polynomial

Alice has a secret polynomial $P$ with positive integer coefficients. When Bob gives Alice a positive integer $n \neq 2016$, Alice replies with the value of $P(n)$. After doing this several times, Bob ...
35
votes
5answers
2k views

Strategy to beat the Casino

Two players, $A$ and $B$, and the Casino play a game. It involves showing zeros or ones: each player picks $0/1$ and also the Casino picks $0/1$. If the Casino and both players $A$ and $B$ show the ...