A woman arrives at a hotel. She has no money, but does have a gold chain containing 7 links (like the one in the photo, but gold). She does not know how long she is going to stay, but offers to give one link for each night she remains in the hotel. However, the links are tricky to saw and so the woman wants to make the smallest number of cuts possible .
The hotel owner is happy with this, and agrees to be helpful by exchanging links (so if, for example, the woman has given him three joined links in the past, she can pay for an extra night by giving him four joined links and he will give back the three joined links).
What is the smallest number of cuts that will allow the woman to pay night on night?
If you have not tried to solve it, have a go now. For everyone else, the answer is after the break.
The answer is 1 cut! If the woman cuts the third link she is left with 1 link, 2 links and 4 links.
Night 1: Gives 1 link
Night 2: Takes back single link and gives 2 links
Night 3: Gives single link
Night 4: Takes back all of the links and gives the 4 links
Night 5: Gives the single link
Night 6: Takes back the single link and gives the double
Night 7: Gives the single link
Did you solve it? Any other answers?
I have produced an ebook containing 101 of the previous Friday Puzzles! It is called PUZZLED and is available for theKindle (UK here and USA here) and on the iBookstore (UK here in the USA here). You can try 101 of the puzzles for free here.