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Yes or No? I really don't know!


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8 replies to this topic

#1 bonanova

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 05:16 AM

I just thought of a positive integer less than 4
said Alex to his friends Davie and Jaimie last
night at Morty's while idly tossing darts in the
back corner of the room.

It was a slow night, and Alex loved to keep things
interesting, as best he could. Now if I were to
give you two questions of the standard Yes/No
variety, I have no doubt that even you two geniuses
could deduce what my number is. So, I'll raise
the challenge a bit, and buy the next round of
beer, if you can tell me my number - with absolute
certainty - after asking me a single Yes/No question.

Davie didn't even bother to stroke his beard.
Can't be done, pure and simple. A waste of time,
If you ask me, agreed Jaimie. Neither of them
noticed the twinkle in Alex's eye as he continued
to reel them in. All right, I'll turn it around. You
pick the number and I'll ask the question. And if
you can't answer it, you'll have to say so. But it
will cost you to play. If I get it right, with certainty,
you buy. If I get it wrong, I'll buy. Either of you
up to that?

Jaimie Just walked away, muttering something
quietly about complexity. This time Davey did
stroke his beard and after a minute said, OK,
you're on.

Who bought the next round?
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The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
- Bertrand Russell

#2 EventHorizon

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 06:38 AM

Spoiler for I'm thinking it's...

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#3 bushindo

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 07:37 AM

I just thought of a positive integer less than 4
said Alex to his friends Davie and Jaimie last
night at Morty's while idly tossing darts in the
back corner of the room.

It was a slow night, and Alex loved to keep things
interesting, as best he could. Now if I were to
give you two questions of the standard Yes/No
variety, I have no doubt that even you two geniuses
could deduce what my number is. So, I'll raise
the challenge a bit, and buy the next round of
beer, if you can tell me my number - with absolute
certainty - after asking me a single Yes/No question.

Davie didn't even bother to stroke his beard.
Can't be done, pure and simple. A waste of time,
If you ask me, agreed Jaimie. Neither of them
noticed the twinkle in Alex's eye as he continued
to reel them in. All right, I'll turn it around. You
pick the number and I'll ask the question. And if
you can't answer it, you'll have to say so. But it
will cost you to play. If I get it right, with certainty,
you buy. If I get it wrong, I'll buy. Either of you
up to that?

Jaimie Just walked away, muttering something
quietly about complexity. This time Davey did
stroke his beard and after a minute said, OK,
you're on.

Who bought the next round?


Here's one approach
Spoiler for question

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#4 bonanova

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 01:43 PM

Yeah, both of those questions work. Nice!

Are there others? If Jaimie's response is taken as a clue, for example.
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The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
- Bertrand Russell

#5 jim

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 04:18 PM

As of June 30, 2012 is a child born in 2010 at least x yearts old?
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#6 EventHorizon

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 05:54 PM

Yeah, both of those questions work. Nice!

Are there others? If Jaimie's response is taken as a clue, for example.

Spoiler for How about...

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#7 bonanova

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 10:54 PM

Spoiler for I had in mind

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The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
- Bertrand Russell

#8 bonanova

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 02:54 AM

As of June 30, 2012 is a child born in 2010 at least x yearts old?


Hi jim, welcome to the Den.

Sorry I didn't see your post earlier.

Yes, that question would do it.
I had in mind the idea inthe previous post,
and now three others have been given.

Nice!
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The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
- Bertrand Russell

#9 bushindo

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 03:16 AM

Hi jim, welcome to the Den.

Sorry I didn't see your post earlier.

Yes, that question would do it.
I had in mind the idea inthe previous post,
and now three others have been given.

Nice!


Thought I had a nice question based on Fermat's last theorem, but turned out I was mistaken. Nice solutions, bonanova, Eventhorizon, and jim.
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