Questions tagged [strategy]

A puzzle whose solution is a methodological plan of action for realizing a specific goal.

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12
votes
3answers
1k views

Can you catch the thief?

This was a puzzle I recalled from university a couple of years back. I don't know what the original puzzle is but if someone knows it, please let me know so I can credit the source. You are a police ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Escaping a hungry lion you can't outrun

You are at the edge of an enormous circular arena. A hungry lion is eying you from the centre of this area. You are both capable of running at the same maximum speed, but constraint within the arena. ...
12
votes
1answer
648 views

Reverse dots and… cubes? - Snowflake edition

A Reverse dots-and-boxes puzzle inspired by @jafe Albert and Robinson are playing a game of reverse dots and boxes. The players take turns adding one plane in one free spot on the grid (...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

The knight's game

Alice and Bob play the following game on a standard $8\times8$ chessboard. In the very beginning, Alice picks a square on the chessboard and places a knight on this square. Then Bob and Alice ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Number swapping game

Number Swapping Game The Initial Board Setup: The Rules: A move is made by selecting one of the 9 cells. When a cell is selected, the number in that cell swaps places with the largest number ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Checkers with the devil

After however much inordinate time passed for the tree-pruning game to finish, you ended up winning, and Satan was infuriated. He was sure he'd come up with a game keep you in hell. But once again, ...
12
votes
3answers
810 views

Can the policeman actually catch the thief, instead of shooting?

The ACLU won a lawsuit against the Squareshire Police Department, alleging that his policy of shooting suspected thieves on sight was unconstitutionally excessive force. The argument that carried the ...
12
votes
1answer
9k views

How do I approach a “stuck” game of minesweeper?

I've played many a-game of minesweeper, and I frequently reach positions in which there is no logical, deterministic way to come to a conclusion about how I should solve the puzzle. How should I ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Deceptive dice game

You must create a set of 6-sided dice and play a game with an opponent. The dice are like regular dice, but you can change the numbers on the dice. For example, regular dice have sides ...
11
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3answers
1k views

The game with cookies on a red and a blue plate

Aabzaari and Basharat play a game, alternating turns with Aabzaari going first. At the start of the game, there are 20 cookies on a red plate and 14 cookies on a blue plate. A legal move consists in ...
11
votes
6answers
753 views

Lots of Gold Stacks and a Balance Scale

You are given X amount of stacks of golden coins, each stack consisting of ten (10) golden coins and a digital balance scale with perfect precision that shows how much difference between weights you ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Find number 8 with the least number of tries

You and your friend plays a game. In this game, there are numbers written on the cards from 1 to 12 on one side (so 12 cards in total). The other side is blank. You can write anything on the blank ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Can you open the door or die?

You wake up and find yourself in a very strange room with a single door. You find a note on the ground surrounded by lots of cards: There are 66 green and 66 blue door cards on the ground. If you ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Amelia Earhart Challenge

Airplanes can hold enough fuel to fly halfway around the world. The only source of fuel is a single airport, which is also the only place planes can take off and land. However, planes can transfer ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Three knights searching for a princess in a castle

There is a castle with rooms arranged in a 4x4 square grid. The princess living in the castle sleeps in a different room each night, but always one adjacent to the one in which she slept on the ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Who wins the AI-game?

Anna and Isadora play a game by writing letters on the blackboard. In the first round, Anna starts by writing down the letter $A$ or the letter $I$. In the $n$-th round with $2\le n\le 999$, Anna ...
11
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7answers
2k views

Using a balance scale the minimum number of times, find the median weight person

There are 15 person with different weights. What is the least number of tries required to find the middle (median) weight person? How? The only tools you have is your brain and a balance scale with ...
11
votes
2answers
538 views

2019 gold coins to share

You and your friend has found in total 2019 gold coins in a treasure hunt. Since your friend found the place to dig up, he deserves a bit more gold than you so you offer a game to share the coins to ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

General strategies for solving metal disentanglement puzzles

(When I talk about metal disentanglement puzzles, I have in mind Hanayama and Tavern puzzles.) As opposed to twisty puzzles - which I can approach by playing with commutators and conjugates as a way ...
11
votes
2answers
849 views

Spiders and Ant on a Cube

There are three spiders and an ant, crawling on the edges of a wire frame cube. The spiders can crawl exactly one third as fast as the ants. Show that the spiders can catch the ant. Think of bugs as ...
11
votes
1answer
629 views

A Tic-Tac-Toe variant with three marks - winning strategy and chances

We start with a usual $3 \times 3$ grid, $3$ different marks (say, $X, O, I$) and $2$ players. Player $A$ has to make a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line made of $3$ identical marks (XXX, OOO or ...
11
votes
6answers
725 views

I Have To Be With Them!

It's almost time for another year of school! But before school starts, Principal Little needs to form classes. Because there are so many people in a class, the parents are always complaining, asking ...
11
votes
1answer
405 views

Dim - A Game with Pebbles

Alice and Bob play a game with a pile of $n$ pebbles. They take turns, with Alice going first. On their turn, a player can remove any number of stones from the pile which is a proper divisor of the ...
11
votes
2answers
388 views

No-Connecting-4

Imagine a game of connect 4 where Player1 wins by Player2 connecting 4, and Player2 wins by forcing the board into a filled board without any 4-in-a-rows. A tie happens if Player1 connects 4. Now Let'...
11
votes
3answers
829 views

16 Two Colored Line up v2

This is the follow-up question for 16 Two Colored Line Up This time, you are not supposed to solve it, but find the worst possible arrangement for each square, which will make the number of steps ...
10
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15answers
12k views

Attach a candle to the wall [closed]

The following is a classic puzzle. It has a canonical solution, but I'd also like any other creative or unusual solutions you can think of. This is a popularity contest - the highest voted answer ...
10
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6answers
4k views

Guess a number between 1 to 27 with 3 Yes/No/Maybe questions [duplicate]

Your best friend (Bob) comes to you with this problem. The Problem His teacher (Mr. Sam) will ask Bob to work out a number in his head between 1 and 27. Bob has to find the correct number, by asking ...
10
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5answers
913 views

Six Musical Friends

Six musicians are participating in a music festival. During each concert, some of the musicians perform, while the others listen in the audience. What is the fewest number of concerts needed so ...
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 ...
10
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4answers
1k views

JonMark Perry's Grid Logic Puzzle

Consider the following puzzle type proposed by JonMark Perry. Start with a square grid of arrows, each one pointing in one of the four cardinal directions. For example: You start at the ...
10
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
646 views

Fight Battle 21

Based off a very, very well-known puzzle The new RPG, Fight Battle 21, is now here! Now with the same three characters as the previous 20 editions! Knight: 6 HP, 60% chance to deal 3 damage Archer: ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Find the minimum number of guesses

Your friend will pick a 4-letter word and you will make guesses in order to find it. -A word can contain only the letters A, B, C, and D, and they can be used more than once. (AAAA-DDDD). -In your ...
10
votes
2answers
637 views

Ninety-nine non-negative numbers

Alice and Bob play the following game with $99$ numbers $M_1,\ldots,M_{99}$. In the beginning, the $99$ numbers take the values $1,2,4,8,16,\ldots,2^{97},2^{98}$. Then Alice and Bob alternatingly ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

Prisoners and minority voting

Disclaimer: this is a scenario that I came up with on my own, and I do not actually know if there is a possible solution. The reason for posting is to see if the combined intellect of PSE can help to ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Labeling wires in a bundle

At a remote location, you just finished trenching a data cable across a large plot of land. The cable has 64 individual wires that are not color-coded or labeled. You have a wire stripper, a simple ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Tree-pruning game with the devil

You won the coin-flipping game against Satan, but being the devil he is, he decided that that game was much too easy, and reneges on his promise to let you go. Instead, he gives you a new, more ...
10
votes
2answers
644 views

The lone builder

You are a lone builder. You have to build a city on a 10x10 initial empty grid. You can place: a street, which is a blue cell on the top of any cell, a tomato shop, which is a red cell on any cell ...
10
votes
1answer
880 views

Clear board in Othello

Is there a valid set of moves in Othello that allows a win score of 64-0 for either player? And is there record of any such game in the past?
10
votes
3answers
827 views

Five pirates splitting gold with a twist

Source: This was posted on the Grey Labyrinth Forums many years ago. The five pirates are back. But this time one of them has the dreaded Zanzibar fever, whose terrible effects are spelled out below....
10
votes
3answers
782 views

Greedy Chocolate Eaters

Alicia and Bobby play a game with a rectangular chocolate bar, scored into an $m$ by $n$ grid of squares. The children alternate turns, with Alicia going first. On a child's turn, they must break ...
10
votes
3answers
225 views

The game of Shafiqa and Habibi

Shafiqa chose a positive integer number $X\le100$, and Habibi is trying to guess the number. Habibi can select two natural numbers $M$ and $N$ less than $100$ and ask about the greatest common ...
10
votes
2answers
962 views

Minimum number of steps in which these people can rearrange themselves?

5 persons numbered 1 to 5 are standing in a row at 5 spots. 1 2 3 4 5 Any person can call another person among the remaining 4. When someone calls someone else, the person who was called ...
10
votes
1answer
271 views

A programming puzzle without code

The goal of this puzzle is to find a sequence of max 5 commands that will move the triangle through the maze and visit all colored squares. Three types of commands can be used: F0 makes the sequence ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

The Expedition Into The Ancient Cave

You are a archeologist and have taken 8 of your students on a expedition trip to a ancient cave to try and find ancient treasure. After you and your team entered the cave, you travel as a group ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Precision Tag - can the lion win?

This is a spin-off motivated by Lopsy's interesting variant of Gamow's lion and zebras puzzle. It arose from a line of enquiry that tried to extend the vertical run past 5000km (or characterise the ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Rocks and Lever (Game) - Goofspiel

I am not sure if there is a name associated with this game but I do not know of one. There was this 2 player game I had once played, and I am wondering if there is a winning strategy. The game is as ...
10
votes
1answer
270 views

Reverse dots and boxes – Guess the last move

Alice and Bob are playing a game of reverse dots and boxes. The players take turns adding one horizontal or vertical line of size 1 in one free spot on the grid (marked with light gray lines ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Entangled physicists

The anti-intellectuals have won the war, and under the iron rule of emperor Nonotin anyone who has been deemed too smart for their own good has been brought to labour camps. But most of the science ...
9
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4answers
1k views

The Universe and Spaceships

It is given that there are infinite planets in the universe and every planet has exactly one spaceship on it. (Thus there are infinite spaceships too.) The distance between planets is unknown. As ...