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Monday, July 28, 2008

Apples and Pears

Tom has three boxes with fruits in his barn: one box with apples, one box with pears, and one box with both apples and pears. The boxes have labels that describe the contents, but none of these labels is on the right box.

The Question: How can Tom, by taking only one piece of fruit from one box, determine what each of the boxes contains?

Answer: Tom takes a piece of fruit from the box with the labels 'Apples and Pears'. If it is an apple, then the label 'Apples' belong to this box. The box that said 'Apples', then of course shouldn't be labeled 'Apples and Pears', because that would mean that the box with 'Pears' would have been labeled correctly, and this is contradictory to the fact that none of the labels was correct. On the box with the label 'Appels' should be the label 'Pears'. If Tom would have taken a pear, the reasoning would have been in a similar way.

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