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Pill Problem

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Two bottle of pills must be taken to keep you alive. The two must be taken at the same time. Forgetting a pill, taking one and not the other, or taking two of the same one will result in your death. You open the two bottles and pour them both into your hand without thinking. Three pills fall out on your hand. Unfortunately the two pills look, feel, and weigh exactly the same. How do you ensure that you don't take the wrong pill?

Assume that these pills are super expensive and cannot be discarded. So throwing the pills away and just picking one pill each is not a viable option.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

its a good thing that the pills are halfable..and necessary to be equal in number in each container , so you can always know if they are 2B&A,2A&B,3A or 3B by recounting the the pills in the bottles..in case of 3A or 3B ,just return the 2 in their bottle and take one of each pill.

Edited by TimeSpaceLightForce
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Posted · Report post

Take all three.

If all three might be from the same bottle, then take one more from each bottle (without throwing them away ;p)

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Remember if you take more than one of the same type, at the same time, you die. So taking all three will definitely mean that you took more than one of the same kind.

Edited by BMAD
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Posted (edited) · Report post

One of the bottles has one more pill..take that pill. Break half it and all the three that fell.You shall have 2 halves of both pills

Edited by TimeSpaceLightForce
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Posted · Report post

You made 2 Assumptions one though is not of as much of a consequence:

1. You don't know if Two or three came from the same bottle.

2. You assume that each prescription is of the same count.

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Posted · Report post

Labeling the pills A and B, you can have:
- 3A

- 2A 1B

- 1A 2B

- 3B

I haven't yet seen a bottle of pills that has not the number of pills not written on it, so you can complete to 3A 3B. Dissolve in water and drink by thirds. Or mill them.

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Posted · Report post

I agree with your comment that the bottles will have the count on them but i worry about the precision needed of drinking 1/3 since you are assuming perfect dissolution. I think TSLF was the closest once a little clean up is applied.

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Posted · Report post

You made 2 Assumptions one though is not of as much of a consequence:

1. You don't know if Two or three came from the same bottle.

2. You assume that each prescription is of the same count.

Assumption 2 must be true for, otherwise, you are eventually doomed. So, you can determine

how many pills came from each bottle. If all three came from the same bottle, you have no

problem since you can take one of those each time with one from the other bottle. If two came

from bottle A and one came from bottle B, just take another from bottle B and, take one-half

of each of these four pills at one time, then take the remaining halves the next time.

Of course, TSLF said as much in post #8. So, I can claim no credit here.

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