# Questions tagged [optimization]

A puzzle where you have to optimize a certain objective function (maximize profit, minimize cost). There should ideally be a provable best answer, to avoid making the puzzle into an [open-ended] game.

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### Shortest time to cook burgers

Attribution: I remember seeing this type of question some time ago but don't remember from where. So I have redesigned the question. Hope that is OK. You have 5 burger patties to grill. Each side ...
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### Ma Drasi and her kitchen in need of paralyzation

I visited Ma Drasi's kitchen today, and it was a hot mess, both temperamental and situation-wise. The rooks were rattling, cooks were crying, snooks were shattering, and crooks were flying and defying!...
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### Painting a Checkerboard

I love checkers - but I've played it so much that the color of my board is faded and dull. Today, I resolved to paint it. Unfortunately, I slipped and fell :( Now there's paint all over my ...
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### A balanced banquet

As your king's fitness adviser you have been tasked with optimising His Majesty's diet. This entails making sure that the king eats equal amounts of carbs (rooks), fat (bishops) and protein (knights). ...
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### How to Divide 1,987 Gold Coins Among 40 Pirates?

There are 40 pirates, designated as P1, P2, ...... P40, respectively. They aim to divide 1,987 gold coins using a two-stage division scheme: In the first stage, P1 initially splits all the coins into ...
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### Smallest rectangle to put the 24 ABCD words combination

Put in the smallest possible size board all combination of 4 quantity of letters. Crossword must be connected. And can be only 4 letters words. Cannot be words with 2, 3, 5 or more letters Example for:...
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### Drowning Squirrel

On a super foggy day, a squirrel falls from a tree into a swimming pool. Due to fog, it cannot see any bank of the pool, unless it touches the bank. It is aware that the swimming pool is in the shape ...
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### The Biggest Chess Blunder

Everyone knows that sinking feeling when you blunder your queen in one move, but it could be worse. In the position above, Black plays Nf7. This blunders a knight in one move, as well as a bishop-...
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### The best scoring REVOLVER

The initial setup a chess game creates this layout: P P P P P P P P R N B Q K B N R If we change the symbol each piece is represented by, something interesting ...
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### A safe with 4 locks

You are trying to open a safe. There are 4 locks and 4 keys (red, green, blue and yellow). When you insert the keys into the locks, the safe will make k beeps, where k is the number of keys that are ...
710 views

### Attacking Hyenas

$N$ Hyenas are standing on a plane region in a forest. At $t=-1$, they see dead meat nearby. Being selfish, at $t=0$, each Hyena attacks the Hyena which is closest to it. All pairwise distances ...
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### Wizard of subsets

Can you change this into this in three moves? You are the wizard of subsets. With only your mind, you can grab any subset of the 16 stone blocks and move them one unit in any direction (north, ...
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### What's the most distant chess position?

It's well known that the combinatorial explosion means that there are many, many, possible chess games. And yet most games are decided within 100 moves, and Wikipedia says that the longest tournament ...
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### Fair d5 with as few faces as possible

Challenge: design a polyhedral die that will always give one of five outcomes, each with equal probability. While achieving that, minimize the total number of faces of the die. Think of the die as ...
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### Mixing liquids in bottles

You have 3 identical bottles with a capacity of 4 litres: The first bottle contains 2 litres of liquid A The second bottle contains 3 litres of liquid B The third bottle contains 4 litres of liquid C ...
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### Most polyominoes in an 8x8 grid

What is the most number of distinct free polyominoes you can form by painting an 8x8 grid in two colours? Here a polyomino is a set of orthogonally adjacent cells of the same colour, so polyominoes of ...
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### Boxeslayers to the rescue

This is about layering boxes, not about slaying them. We have 1,830 2×5 boxes to stack safely as 10 alternating contiguous layer patterns of 183 boxes each. Layers have identical silhouettes that fit ...
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### A Queen and her Pawns

Place a queen and as many pawns as possible on a chessboard so that the queen has just one way of capturing all the pawns in precisely as many moves as there are pawns. Pawns do not move and do not ...
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### Smallest 3x3 Magic Square of different square sums

Consider the follow magic square highlighted in yellow. The sum of its rows and columns are in green and the sum of the diagonals in red. All of its sums are a square number with the sum of the whole ...
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### Farthest From Backgammon

This puzzle is part of the Monthly Topic Challenge #7: Board games. The famous Backgammon game can be seen as being played on a number axis with one player on the non-negative side (from 0 to 25) and ...
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### Smallest square that can pack thin digits

If we draw the digits 0 to 9, segmented into squares, across a rectangle of 2x5 (except the 1) they use up 81 total squares. Is it possible to pack them all into a 9x9 grid. What is the smallest n by ...
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### From white to black

This puzzle is part of the Monthly Topic Challenge #7: Board games. Place a knight on each of the white squares on the 8x8 chessboard. That would make a total of 32 knights. Is it possible to use a ...
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### A bit complicated 20 card games v2

this is follow up question of A bit complicated 20 card games. As the person who determines the order of the cards without changing the numbers on them, you want to make it more difficult for the ...
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### A bit complicated 20 card games

In the game of 20-card games, the objective is to select a card or pass on it at every turn, with the goal of maximizing the sum of the numbers on the chosen cards. You have knowledge of the numbers ...
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