Friday, January 18, 2008

The lightbulb brain teaser

I posted this in the comments but then decided it should be up here. Sorry in advance for the inarticulate wording, but hopefully it will make sense. It's a brainteaser, and it's hard:

There are two rooms, one of them has three light switches, the other has three lightbulbs and you don't know which bulb goes with which switch. you can do whatever you want to the switches but you must then go into the room with the bulbs and figure out which goes with which. (you can't go back into the room with the switches). how can it be done?

13 comments:

Ted from Accounting said...

This teaser so reminds me of that night club dimmer switch story…Focus Ted Focus! I need to give an intelligent response…I’m in a zen state with some music playing right now. I’m only good at giving teasers…this is my first receiving! God that sounded gross! Ok, let me get a Dos Equis and the answer should appear soon enough!

Todd said...

Well, perhaps you can just look into the room with the bulbs from the room with the switches. There's nothing here that says you can't see into one room from another.

That, or Alison can sit patiently in the room with the lights and after I completed switching the lights on reveal the order in which they came on.

Am I looking at this too simply?

Ted from Accounting said...

Ok, I'm on my 4th beer and there doesn't seem to be a solution in sight. Come to think of it, I missed all of your truths and a lie as well! Michael is the smart one on your blog! I know he will get it correct!

If I asked how tall the ceiling is would that be beneficial? Are these florescent bulbs? Am I allowed to have a multimeter? You can't go back in the room...hmmm, this makes my 3 Musketeers tease look like baby crap!

How many Navy Seals does it take to change one of those light bulbs in the room? Just one, he stands there and the world revolves around him. I'm not sure why I added that other than to deflect from the fact that I'm clueless. :)

Well, we will see if you get my Island one correct! :)

Eddie said...

You turn on buld for about 5 minutes, then turn it off and turn another on. When you go into the other room, there is one that is on, and there are 2 that are off, the one that is warm is the first one you turned on and the one that is cold is to the last one. Butter your toast.

Anonymous said...

Turn off all switches except for one. Wait awhile. Turn off the switch that is on, and turn on one of the other switches. Go into the room and see which bulb is off but warm, which is on, and so on...(assuming one can actually reach the bulbs).

joe said...

In the dim, dark corner of my brain I seem to remember hearing this one once (or maybe a similar one), but I have no idea what the answer is. I'm not good at these puzzles anyway. My answer is that I would cheat :o)

It's like one of those cryptic math problems in school, like "The train is going down the track at 50 mph, so what color is the barn." And you sit there thinking WHAT???

Thanks for the shoutout Michael! I just didn't have much to contribute yesterday.

TGIF folks!!

Anonymous said...

Bon Jour' er'body. Sorry, I had to take french classes at an early age, and that was all I retained. Hmm, I think I'm gonna place my bet with Todd on this one. As far as the island one, I'm gonna have to go give it some thought. My brain is still in a fog right now, so I'm gonna go have a drumstick so my brain starts tickin' teehee.

Michael.
La.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I guess that didn't take as long as I thought. I think I'm gonna go with a drink...Long Island Iced Tea? It's a long shot, but this is my final answer.

Well, that was good and bad, I'm glad I have an answer, but now I have nothing to do for the rest of the day. I'll come up with something .

Michael.
La.

Ted from Accounting said...

I think I'll go with my good friend Anonymous on this one. I'm sure Macgyver would use that technique. Plus after a good night sleep, it makes sense!

The T was surrounded by waTer.

Anonymous said...

Well that's about right. Sometimes I think too much. To a detrement.

Michael.
La.

joe said...

Yep, Mr. Anonymous is correct. One of the bulbs would be warm, the second one ON and the last one OFF. Seems so simple once you know the answer.

Good one!!!

future Mr. Rosen said...

How many liberals to change a bulb?
None. They pass laws making you change them. Allison, I'll see you on Red Eye. (I'm the one with light bulb burnt fingers... sorry,
but I'm already married.)

Anonymous said...

Man, I been sleeping all day. I'm not feeling real well. I'll try to come and visit though. Alison and everyone, have a terrific weekend.

Michael.
La.