Please do NOT post your answer, but do say if you think you have solved the puzzle and how long it took. Solution on Monday.

Imagine a water-cask and three different sized water-taps. The smallest tap can fill the water-cask in 20 minutes. The middle tap can fill the cask in 12 minutes. And the largest tap can fill the water-cask in 5 minutes. How long does it take to fill the water-cask with the three taps together

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Done, now I’m off to boil an egg…

Please keep your deranged logic workings to yourself

Peter, the opening line of the puzzle says “Please do NOT post your answer”.

(Dave, I assume that is how long you took to find the answer.)

Please give others the chance to have a go at answering the puzzles.

Cheers

Nick

20 seconds

I want to make it clear that ^that guy is not the real Dave. It is an imposter and he should be ashamed.

Ah, now the errant posts have been removed. This makes my post above seem a little strange. Sorry about that!

As you were, everyone.

Cheers

Nick

About 30 seconds, but I had to use a computer to work with the fractions (so add about half an hour and a wrong answer).

It’s got to be longer than 30 seconds, surely

Took me about 15 seconds to type in the equation.

It takes longer to fill the cask than to find the answer.

3 divisions, one addition and a further division took about 30 seconds.

Easy but still good.

Will confirm on Monday if I’ve got the right answer.

Got it. This one was easy. Much easier than finding three mismatched taps close enough together fill the same cask at one time…

It took about a third as much time as the answer. Good question. I will pass this on to my daughter who’s just started GCSE maths.

It took me about one ninetieth of the of the time it would take all three taps to fill the cask to solve the puzzle.

Less than a minute.

That’s how long it took me, not the answer.

But I had to use Excel…

Yeah – did the calculations in Excel two – chosen number of minutes puzzled me until I had the solution. They were chosen to give a nice answer to the puzzel.

About a minute in Excel, plugging in a value of 100 units for the volume of the cask. As others have said, the different flow rates were deliberately chosen to ensure a nice round number when combined.

Undoubtedly, I’d drop the d@mn cask in the middle of it all and ask myself why I’d bothered hunting down the three mismatched taps… 😀

Two hours and still filling. Perhaps I should close the stopcock at the bottom of the cask and try again.

About a minute – now I’d better turn those taps off!!

Less than a minute to solve.

took me a few (<5) minutes – from first principles (let 'x' be the amount of water in the tank etc), checking whether the formulae I'd got actually made sense (that took the most time!), and then confirming it by imagining x was really 100 litres.

but then, as Paddington would say, it would take no time at all because it’s still full up from before

got

Nice question, but solved in about 30 seconds once I had some paper and remembered how adding fractions works!

Good thing I worked it out before I looked at the comments. Yet again it seems some people think it’s appropriate to give the answers away and spoil it for others. There shouldn’t be a comments option on the question page, there should only be one on the Monday morning answer page.

20 seconds to figure out what to do another minute or so to do it in my head

A minute, using paper and Post-it to keep track.

Five minutes to solve it. Had to remember my fractions from school days.

It takes nothing because we are talking about a WATER-cask (that’s the clue).

Does water-cask mean something entirely different where you’re from?

mr wiseman’s puzzles are unfair to those of us who canno’t solve them. i must post only how long soln took. but this one o canno’t solve so my posting voice is silence.

unfiar, mr wiseman!

Obviously you need more practice at being silent. Tell you what, see how long you can manage from now on. We’re all rooting for you.

WHY do people continue to insist on posting their answers – or obvious clues to the answers?? It’s fun to read people’s comments and see what they think of these puzzles – but don’t they understand that it spoils it for others just because they have a need to show off?? And don’t they understand the English that Richard uses to ask them NOT to post their answers?????

I think that they post their answers just to wind up people like you and me Alma.

Works every time too.

so glad I didn’t read the comments today!

I enjoyed this puzzle. I needed pen and paper and had to imagine that it’s a 60-litre cask. Took me about two or three minutes to solve.

It took me less time than the answer, longhand, as taught for the eleven-plus maths exam back in the 1950s. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

Totally agree with comments re people posting the answer. I never look at the comments before solving the puzzle for myself (or giving up, which I did last week!).

Did it the old fashioned way with paper and pen. Most of the time taken up with finding the pen.

Fractions revisited, an answer appeared on the back of my old (and favorite) envelope in about 1/9 of the time it takes to fill the vessel.

less time to solve it than to type this message saying that I have.

Though I am quite a slow typist.

Couple of minutes. Somewhat ruined by reading comments before attempting (rookie error as ever – but why do people insist on posting answer or “cryptic suggestions”, enough of the willy-waving). But reached an neat answer on a post-it note, no excel or anything needed.

2-3 min. I guessed the answer and checked with my rusty maths.

It took just a few seconds to make a good guess.. The way I did it was that I figured it had to be less than 5 min and that made me think about a formula for adding resistors. That gave the same answer as the others who sadly gave away the answer. My way wasn’t as good as theirs that was more principled than my way which was just a guess. But it’s interesting that the principle is actually the same. So now I have deeper insight into that formula for adding resistors.

Solution in a few seconds: 11 keystrokes on an RPN calculator. (I love RPN!)

Of course, I’ve seen this type of puzzle before.

Yes – like resistors in parallel.

I was thinking that finally there was a reason to have studied calculus (which I don’t remember because I never use it,) but you all only used fractions so even though I didn’t get the hints, I have no excuse not to try it. I always use the trial and error method.

test

Too easy.

I think I got it but will wait ’til Monday to find out the answer. If correct, than it took me a bit longer to figure answer out then it would be to fill the casket. 🙂

took about a minute less than to solve it

Have we had the Problem versus Puzzle debate lately ?

didn’t use Excel (ok open office spreadsheet), less than 30 seconds. Now if it were full of beer…..

I can’t post how long it took because it’s the same as the answer. 😦

About 30 seconds

Yawn.

Took me 20 seconds in my head.

About 30 seconds, including finding a pencil to work the fractions. I used to be able to do this stuff in my head.

About 15 seconds, but I did it in my head.

About 30 seconds, but I did it in paper

yeah! I guessed the first comment right!

1) I read and work out the puzzle

2) According to the answer, I try to guess the first spoilery comment (the very first one actually)

3) THEN, I read the comments…

Got it right this time!

🙂

Three minutes

Saludos. Iñigo👀🇪🇸

El 06/09/2013, a las 09:31, Richard Wiseman escribió:

> >

It took me the same amount of time to arrive at the solution as it takes the three taps to fill the cask.

Took me about 15 seconds, mainly because I could see what was going on so I started calculating as I read through the question. I must have swallowed an extra maths pill tonight…

15 secs

ABOUT 33 % OF THE TIME NEEDED TO FILL THE CASK TO FIND THE ANSWER

It took me almost exactly as long to find the answer as it does to fill the cask! 🙂