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You have a five-gallon jug and a three-gallon jug. You must obtain exactly four gallons of water. How will you do it?


You should find this brainteaser fairly simple. If you were to think out loud, you might begin by examining the ways in which combination of five and three can come up to be four. For example: (5 - 3) + (5 - 3) = 4. This path does not actually lead to the right answer, but it is a fruitful way to begin thinking about the question. Here's the solution: fill the three-gallon jug with water and pour it into the five-gallon jug. Repeat. Because you can only put two more gallons into the five-gallon jug, one gallon will be left over in the three-gallon jug. Empty out the five-gallon jug and pour in the one gallon. Now just fill the three-gallon jug again and pour it into the five-gallon jug. Ta-da. (Mathematically, this can be represented 3 + 3 - 5 + 3 = 4)

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