Medication problem

  1. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    You've been placed on a course of expensive medication in which you are to take one tablet of medicine A and one tablet of medicine B daily. You must be careful that you take just one of each because taking more of either can have serious side effects. Taking an A without taking a B, or vice versa, can also be very serious, because they must be taken together in order to be effective. In summary, you must take exactly one of the A pills and one of the B pills at one time. Therefore, you open up the A bottle, and you tap one A pill into your hand. You put that bottle aside and you open the B bottle. You do the same, but by mistake, two Bs fall into your hand with the A pill. Now, here's the problem. You weren't watching your hand as the pills fell into it, so you can't tell the A pill apart from the two B pills.

    The pills look identical. They are the same size, same weight, same color, same everything, and they are not marked differently in any way. What are you going to do? You cannot tell which pill is which, and they cost $100 a piece, so you cannot afford to throw them away and start over again. How do you get your daily dose of exactly one A and exactly one B without wasting any of the pills?
  2. jcsd
  3. Put those pills away. Take out 1 more of A and 1 more of B. Use as necessary. See your pharmacist the following day and ask which is which. (does this count as cheating?)
  4. You do not know which pill is which, but you are 100% sure that each of the two piles now contains two halves of pill B and half of pill A.

    Now go back into the pill A box, take out a pill, cut it in half, and add one half to each stack. Now you have two stacks, each one containing two halves of pill A and two halves of pill B.

    Take one stack of pills today, and save the second stack for tomorrow. And the problem is solved."
  5. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    You read the answer!!! :devil: How do I know? You forgot to mention why you now have two piles with half pills. grrrr :rolleyes:

    You're not supposed to cheat!!! You ruined it for everyone else. :mad:
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2004
  6. Make him explain it porperly then.

    The Bob (2004 ©)
  7. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,044
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member


    I would highly recommend changing the context of the puzzle so the key words are un-Googleable. I do this all the time with puzzles that I post.

    You could have had a metallurgist make alloys of precious metals. Or a biochemist racemizing some carefully synthesized compound.
  8. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,044
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The answer is out. You take the original 3 pills, cut them in half. Put the three left halves in a pile and the tree right halves in another pile. Clearly, each pile has 1 B amd 1/2 A.

    Maybe Dave worked it out in his head but screwed up while writing it down - you know, wanting to be first and all that !
  9. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Nope he copied and pasted the answer, it's verbatim from the website.
  10. If there were actually two pills of exactly the same "everything", why you thought it was only one, and if you thought it was only one, why you used the word "two" pills here ?
    If you think it is one pill, you are probably wrong
    If you think it is 2 different pills, you are also probably wrong.
    What if those pills' maker deliberately made the two exactly the same ? What if they are twins ?
  11. :)-- lol-- :)
  12. Oh right. That makes sense. I see that cheating has its faults. What did Sherlock Holmes say once. Something like anythin planned by a human mind can be solved. Hehe. Caught out Dave. :biggrin:

    The Bob (2004 ©)
  13. loseyourname

    loseyourname 3,345
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    That puzzle wasn't very hard anyway.
  14. Yer but when I had a read of what Dave wrote it made no sense and I thought 'how can that be correct?' Never mind :rolleyes:

    The Bob (2004 ©)
  15. jimmy p

    jimmy p 554
    Gold Member

    I'm a risk taker... I'd take both 'n hope for the best.
  16. Hex yer. Go for it. :biggrin:

    The Bob (2004 ©)
  17. Do like Bob, take them all, then sue both companies for not having identifying marks on their "dangerous" pills. Exagerate emotional damages, join in all the other people that have taken the two drugs and then recieve a paltry settlement while the attorney collects a million. All of this will drive the price of the drug sky high and the company will re-market it as a "brand new miracle drug" and make sure that it has marks of originality.
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