# Medication problem

1. Jun 30, 2004

### 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. Jun 30, 2004

### Parth Dave

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?)

3. Jun 30, 2004

### Dave

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."

4. Jul 1, 2004

### Staff: Mentor

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

You're not supposed to cheat!!! You ruined it for everyone else.

Last edited: Jul 1, 2004
5. Jul 1, 2004

### The Bob

Make him explain it porperly then.

6. Jul 1, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
Evo,

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.

7. Jul 1, 2004

### Gokul43201

Staff Emeritus
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 !

8. Jul 1, 2004

### Staff: Mentor

Nope he copied and pasted the answer, it's verbatim from the website.

9. Jul 1, 2004

### Pattielli

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 ?

10. Jul 1, 2004

### Pattielli

:)-- lol-- :)

11. Jul 1, 2004

### The Bob

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.

12. Jul 1, 2004

### loseyourname

Staff Emeritus
That puzzle wasn't very hard anyway.

13. Jul 1, 2004

### The Bob

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

14. Jul 1, 2004

### jimmy p

I'm a risk taker... I'd take both 'n hope for the best.

15. Jul 2, 2004

### The Bob

Hex yer. Go for it.