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Burning Rope

There are two lengths of rope. Each one can burn in exactly one hour. They are not necessarily of the same length or width as each other. They also are not of uniform width (may be wider in middle than on the end), thus burning half of the rope is not necessarily 1/2 hour.

By burning the ropes, how do you measure exactly 45 minutes worth of time?

see explanation

If you light both ends of one rope, it will burn in exactly a 1/2 hour. Thus, burn one rope from both ends and the other rope from only one end. Once the one rope (which is burning from both ends) finally burns out (and you know a 1/2 hour has elapsed), you also know that the other rope (which is buring from only one end) has exactly 1/2 hour left to burn. Since you only want 45 minutes, light the second end of the rope. This remaining piece will burn in 15 minutes. Thus, totaling 45 minutes.


Mitch Intrieri

get comfy and start resting. light one rope and see how many heartbeats it takes for it to burn all the way. multiply this number by 3/4 and start counting over until you get to this new number. it will take 45 mins. you not have extra rope and matches to play with! alternatively you can pace around and use steps but this will be less accurate


Fold the first rope in half and light both ends to count 15 min. After this is burnt, fold the second rope in half and light it on one end to count 30 min. Result = $$$. Loved Mitch's solution though.


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Submitted by
over 5 years ago
Difficulty 4.3 ?