Thanks to everyone who participated in the subject quiz presented in the last post – the quiz certainly was not multiple choice & drew on your analytical skills. I think everyone who responded had fun whether they got the solution or not – having fun & learning like I did is the point.
The quiz was taken from the May edition of CEP magazine to illustrate how a project team should focus on the simplest solution to a problem that minimizes the delay, cost, & additional equipment required to complete a task – a principle that is the heart & soul of the engineering-construction business as well as a good trait for all of us to use in our every day life.
The responses revealed there are two methods for working the problem. I worked out solution # 1 below & then stopped thinking until I realized, as the responses came in, that more people derived solution #2 than #1. All of the responses received are posted in the comments section underWater Bucket Quiz.
Solution #1 – 1) Fill the 5-gal bucket. 2) Use the contents of the 5-gal bucket to fill the 3-gal bucket. (You now have a full 3-gal bucket & 2 gal of water left in the 5-gal bucket.) 3) Empty the 3-gal bucket, then pour the 2-gal of water from the 5-gal bucket into the 3-gal bucket. 4) Fill the 5-gal bucket again. 5) Pour water from the 5-gal bucket into the 3-gal bucket (which currently contains 2 gal of water) until it is full. What remains in the 5-gal bucket is 4 gal of water.
Responders who worked the problem this way include – our SC businessman (who called for tougher quizzes), HowK, & PB (also got #2).
Solution #2 – 1) F
ill the 3-gal bucket & pour it into the 5-gal bucket. 2) Fill the 3-gal bucket again and use it to fill the 5-gal bucket to the top, leaving 1 gal of water remaining in the 3-gal bucket. 3) Empty the 5-gal bucket & pour the remaining 1 gal into the 5-gal bucket. 4) Fill the 3-gal bucket again & pour it in with the 1 gal already in the 5-gal bucket, creating 4 gal total.
Responders who worked the problem this way include LW, Jg, Alison, RV, JR, Debbi, the Moonlight Gambler, & PB (also got #1).
When you combine the two solutions you realize that you can produce not only 4 gal of water using two unmarked buckets (the original task) but every whole number of gal from 1 up to 8 gal. Just another benefit of creative people working together on a team – you always go higher than expected.