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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Chain Connection

You have five pieces of chain, each consisting of three links. You want to make one long chain of these five pieces. Breaking open a link costs 1 euro, and welding an open link costs 3 euros.

The Question: Is it possible to make one long chain of the five pieces, if you have just 15 euros?

Answer: Yes, this is possible. First, break open all three links of one of the pieces of chain. This costs 3×1 = 3 euros. Then join the remaining four pieces of chain with the three open links. Welding these links costs 3×3 = 9 euros. The total costs are 12 euros.

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