Syvum Home Page

Home > Math Puzzles & Brain Teasers > Print Preview

Math Puzzles & Brain Teasers


Black or Brown Gloves

View Puzzle Solve Puzzle

Hide all answers   View all answers   Print   Try the Quiz

Mr. Brown has 10 black gloves and 10 brown gloves in his closet. He blindly picks up some gloves from the closet. What is the minimum number of gloves Mr. Brown will have to pick to be certain to find a pair of gloves of the same color?
Answer: 3

Solution:

To find a pair, Mr. Brown must pick at least 2 gloves. But, if he picks 2 gloves blindly, then they may be of different colors. If he picks 3 gloves blindly, then there are only 2 possibilities: all 3 gloves are of the same color, or 2 gloves are of the same color and 1 is of a different color. Both these possibilities guarantee Mr. Brown a pair of gloves of the same color. Thus, Mr. Brown should minimally pick 3 gloves to be certain to find a pair of gloves of the same color.

Food for thought:

Would the problem change significantly if the word "gloves" was replaced by "shoes" in the problem statement? Does it matter that there are "left" and "right" shoes?

Suppose the problem statement was modified to read:
What is the minimum number of gloves Mr. Brown will have to pick to be certain to find a pair of black gloves (rather than simply gloves of the same color)? Is the minimum number still 3?


  Try the Quiz :     Puzzles & Brain Teasers : Black or Brown Gloves

puzzle : image for gloves

Contact Info © 1999-2017 Syvum Technologies Inc. Privacy Policy Disclaimer and Copyright
Previous
-
Next
-