- 22 Feb '16 22:48There is an avocado tree surrounded by seven concentric fences, each with a gate that is guarded by a soldier. The soldiers are known for their honesty and so are you. You love avocados. You go up to the first guard and tell him that if he lets you pass through his gate, you promise that you will give him half of the avocados you have when you return to his gate, on condition that he then give you one back and let you pass. You will only deal with whole avocados. He agrees and lets you pass.

You go to the second guard and make this same deal. In fact, you go to all the guards, one at a time, and make the same deal.

How many avocados should you take from the tree to be able to deliver on your promise?

If you already know the answer, please refrain from answering. - 23 Feb '16 20:44 / 1 edit

There are many answers but I'm guess you are looking for the minimum?*Originally posted by JS357***There is an avocado tree surrounded by seven concentric fences, each with a gate that is guarded by a soldier. The soldiers are known for their honesty and so are you. You love avocados. You go up to the first guard and tell him that if he lets you pass through his gate, you promise that you will give him half of the avocados you have when you return to his ga ...[text shortened]... le to deliver on your promise?**

If you already know the answer, please refrain from answering.

[hidden]

Taking 130 ensures no soldier is peed off.

But the minimum is 2, with every soldier ending up with zero avocados.

[/hidden] - 23 Feb '16 23:05
*Originally posted by wolfgang59***There are many answers but I'm guess you are looking for the minimum?**

[hidden]

Taking 130 ensures no soldier is peed off.

But the minimum is 2, with every soldier ending up with zero avocados.

[/hidden]Two is the answer and it is the only answer. Any other number results eventually in having to give half of an odd number of avocados.<-- answer

I was hoping someone would say Avogadro's number. - 24 Feb '16 12:13

I missed the part where the guard gives back one avocado. So with your result, none of the guards gets a single avocado! You end up with 2.*Originally posted by JS357***[hidden]Two is the answer and it is the only answer. Any other number results eventually in having to give half of an odd number of avocados.[/hidden] <-- answer**

I was hoping someone would say Avogadro's number. - 24 Feb '16 14:19

Yes but now I'm not sure Wolfgang's 130 is wrong.*Originally posted by sonhouse***I missed the part where the guard gives back one avocado. So with your result, none of the guards gets a single avocado! You end up with 2.**

Start with 130.

After gate 1: 66

After gate 2: 34

After gate 3: 18

After gate 4: 10

After gate 5: 6

After gate 6: 4

After gate 7: 3.

And there are other answers, such as starting with the number that yields 130 AFTER gate 1. That is 258.

Is this right?

I got this from the NPR program Cartalk. - 24 Feb '16 14:51

Loved that show. Tom, RIP. He had a good run, Phd, and his younger brother Ray graduated from MIT. Pretty good pedigrees.*Originally posted by JS357***Yes but now I'm not sure Wolfgang's 130 is wrong.**

Start with 130.

After gate 1: 66

After gate 2: 34

After gate 3: 18

After gate 4: 10

After gate 5: 6

After gate 6: 4

After gate 7: 3.

And there are other answers, such as starting with the number that yields 130 AFTER gate 1. That is 258.

Is this right?

I got this from the NPR program Cartalk. - 24 Feb '16 15:45

You can listen to reruns on the cartalk website. We have them on KQED on Saturday. They seem to be from the 90's judging by the model years being discussed.*Originally posted by sonhouse***Loved that show. Tom, RIP. He had a good run, Phd, and his younger brother Ray graduated from MIT. Pretty good pedigrees.** - 24 Feb '16 17:49

That series looks like a famous one, like a fibonacci number sequence almost.*Originally posted by JS357***Yes but now I'm not sure Wolfgang's 130 is wrong.**

Start with 130.

After gate 1: 66

After gate 2: 34

After gate 3: 18

After gate 4: 10

After gate 5: 6

After gate 6: 4

After gate 7: 3.

And there are other answers, such as starting with the number that yields 130 AFTER gate 1. That is 258.

Is this right?

I got this from the NPR program Cartalk. - 24 Feb '16 22:35

Divide by two, add one. Repeat. Any number can be tested (brute force) to see if an odd number is reached before 7 tries. Is there a mathematical way; solving for x =130.?*Originally posted by sonhouse***That series looks like a famous one, like a fibonacci number sequence almost.**

In reverse it is double then subtract 2.

eg (2*3)-2=4, (2*4)-2=6

Starting with 5 it is 5, 8, 14... so from 8 on, even numbers result.

Same with 7.

I seems there is an unlimited number of solutions. - 26 Feb '16 16:43

It does work, start with two, you give one to a guard, he gives you one back. You still have 2, all the way through no matter how many guards there are. You end up with two avocado's. The other solutions seem to give you more avocado's at the end. Although how you would carry 130 avocado's in the first place is unclear.....*Originally posted by wolfgang59***WHY DOES MY "HIDDEN" NOT WORK?** - 26 Feb '16 22:33

??????*Originally posted by sonhouse***It does work, start with two, you give one to a guard, he gives you one back. You still have 2, all the way through no matter how many guards there are. You end up with two avocado's. The other solutions seem to give you more avocado's at the end. Although how you would carry 130 avocado's in the first place is unclear.....**

[ hidden ] in my post didn't work! - 26 Feb '16 23:30

Here is your hidden, cut and pasted from your post.*Originally posted by wolfgang59***WHY DOES MY "HIDDEN" NOT WORK?**

[hidden]

Taking 130 ensures no soldier is peed off.

But the minimum is 2, with every soldier ending up with zero avocados.

[/hidden]

Here it is with the carriage returns removed.

Taking 130 ensures no soldier is peed off. But the minimum is 2, with every soldier ending up with zero avocados. - 27 Feb '16 20:42

thanks - mystery solved!*Originally posted by JS357***Here is your hidden, cut and pasted from your post.**

[hidden]

Taking 130 ensures no soldier is peed off.

But the minimum is 2, with every soldier ending up with zero avocados.

[/hidden]

Here it is with the carriage returns removed.

[hidden]Taking 130 ensures no soldier is peed off. But the minimum is 2, with every soldier ending up with zero avocados.[/hidden]