Problems

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Found: 326

There are \(n\) inhabitants (\(n>3\)) in the Wonderland. Each habitant has a secret, which is known to him/her only. In a telephone conversation two inhabitants tell each other all the secrets they know. Show that after \((2n-4)\) conversations all the secrets may be spread among all the inhabitants.

The Hatter has 2016 white and 2017 black socks in his drawer. He takes two socks out of the drawer without looking. If the socks he takes out are of the same colour, he throws them away, and puts an additional black sock into the drawer. If the socks he takes out are of different colours, then he throws out the black sock, and puts the white one back. The Hatter continues with his sorting until there is only one sock left in the drawer. What colour is that sock?

One hundred and one numbers are written down: \(1^2\), \(2^2\), ..., \(101^2\). In one go it is allowed to erase any two numbers and write the absolute value of their difference instead. What is the smallest number which can be obtained as the result of 100 such operations?

One of your employees insists on being paid daily in gold. You have a gold bar whose value is that of seven days’ salary for this employee. The bar is already segmented into seven equal pieces. If you are allowed to make just two cuts in the bar, and must settle with the employee at the end of each day, how do you do it?

You have a 3-quart bucket, a 5-quart bucket, and an infinite supply of water. How can you measure out exactly 4 quarts?

If you are on a boat and toss a suitcase overboard, will the water level rise or fall?

Suppose you had eight billiard balls, the recruiter began. One of them is slightly heavier, but the only way to tell is by put-ting it on a scale against the others. What’s the fewest number of times you’d have to use the scale to find the heavier ball?

How do you cut a rectangular cake into two equal pieces when someone has already removed a rectangular piece from it? The removed piece can be of any size or orientation. You are allowed just one straight cut.

You have 26 constants, labeled \(A\) through \(Z\). Let \(A\) equal 1. The other constants have values equal to the letter’s position in the alphabet, raised to the power of the previous constant. That means that \(B\) (the second letter) = \(2^A=2^1= 2\), \(C = 3^B=3^2= 9\), and so on. Find the exact numerical value for this expression: \[(X-A)(X-B)(X-C)\dots (X-Y)(X-Z).\]