Tickle Me Fancy

Recently, Imran on Tech ran an article on logical puzzle on job interviews. Logical puzzles are often posted to interviewee for one, it makes the interviewer as though he possess a much high intellectual than you have. Aside from physical appearances, these questions also shows the true nature of the job seeker characteristic, including assertiveness and motivation toward assignment.

While not all can be solve through pure logic, some need more technical skills than others to solve. Programmers and mathematician, mainly those who involve themselves in statistic calculation, are often given these brain teasers to test their ability to produce an equation under peer pressure. I’ve to admit that I couldn’t solve those probability puzzles, some of them requires more brain power and I, do not possess any. Example:

at one point, a remote island’s population of chameleons was divided as follows:13 red chameleons,15 green chameleons,17 blue chameleons. Each time two different colored chameleons would meet, they would change their color to the third one. (i.e.. If green meets red, they both change their color to blue.) is it ever possible for all chameleons to become the same color? why or why not?”

If you can immediately identify the solution right away, you are consider the few exceptional people on this planet. However, could you confidently say out your answer, when given questions such as this and ask again to reaffirm your stand. The solution to this is yes, 1G meet 1B, both turn red, left 14G, 14B, 16R. 14 vs 14 makes all red. Correct?

No, apparently you had killed one. The answer is no. Why? This I couldn’t give an answer, it requires a mathematic equation, which again, wrong person to ask, but I’ll be one next time around.

Some may not agree on the usage of these puzzle but I strongly felt that it is essential for fresh graduates to understand that not only technical skills are important, to be able to conceive problems within questions also pose a great deal in obtaining a more accurate answer.

For other puzzles, go to TechInterview.org. Credit goes to both sites.


2 Responses

  1. If we have one of each color, we can turn them all the same color:

    eg, 1b, 1g, 1r. the blue meets the green, and we have 3r.

    So ignore the 13 of each color that we can easily convert.

    Now we have 2 green, 4 blue, no red. A green meets a blue and we get to 1g, 3b, 2r. Subtract out one of each (since they can be made to match.

    Now we have no gren, 2b, 1r. Let a blue meet a red, and we get 1b, 0r, 2g, whcih is no improvement, and no improvement is possible. We are completely stuck.

    (Reducing a problem to a simpler subproblem can be a useful technique)


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