Two Pills

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SchighSchagh
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Two Pills

Postby SchighSchagh » Mon May 11, 2015 9:14 pm UTC

You have two types of pills that you have to take exactly one of each day. Today, you grab a pill from the first bottle, but when you try to take one from the second bottle, you accidentally pull two pills out, then further spazz so as to drop all three pills (one from the first, two from the second bottle) on the table without knowing which is which. Unfortunately, the pills are unlabelled and look/feel exactly the same. What do you do so as to be certain that you take exactly one of each type of pill without wasting any pills?

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Diemo
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Re: Two Pills

Postby Diemo » Mon May 11, 2015 9:45 pm UTC

Answer
Spoiler:
1) You break the pills in half, take one half of each of the spilled pill and one half from the pill left in the bottle. Repeat the next day.
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SchighSchagh
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Re: Two Pills

Postby SchighSchagh » Mon May 11, 2015 10:32 pm UTC

Diemo wrote:Answer
Spoiler:
1) You break the pills in half, take one half of each of the spilled pill and one half from the pill left in the bottle. Repeat the next day.


Yup! There are also some variations on that theme that would work.

Do you mind if I ask how long it took you to figure out?

narrativium
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Re: Two Pills

Postby narrativium » Tue May 12, 2015 12:46 am UTC

Spoiler:
Are the pills of a type that can be precisely bisected? My limited understanding of pharmacy is that some pills are containers for the real medicine, the exterior preventing the interior from being exposed/used up too soon in the system; cutting them in half would reduce their effectiveness.

Pseudo-pharmacy aside, 'exactly one' suggests there's a solution which avoids the mess of inexact fractions and deals entirely with integers (where one is good but zero or two are fatal). Admittedly, so far, my only solution is to write three pills off as wasted and hope I can refill a prescription early...

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Diemo
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Re: Two Pills

Postby Diemo » Tue May 12, 2015 2:38 am UTC

10 minutes or so
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Jeff_UK
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Re: Two Pills

Postby Jeff_UK » Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:06 pm UTC

narrativium wrote:
Spoiler:
Are the pills of a type that can be precisely bisected? My limited understanding of pharmacy is that some pills are containers for the real medicine, the exterior preventing the interior from being exposed/used up too soon in the system; cutting them in half would reduce their effectiveness.

Pseudo-pharmacy aside, 'exactly one' suggests there's a solution which avoids the mess of inexact fractions and deals entirely with integers (where one is good but zero or two are fatal). Admittedly, so far, my only solution is to write three pills off as wasted and hope I can refill a prescription early...

Spoiler:
Even if they can be bisected perfectly, the solution also assumes an even distribution of the active ingredient, which is not necessarily the case
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quintopia
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Re: Two Pills

Postby quintopia » Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:47 am UTC

Jeff_UK wrote:
narrativium wrote:
Spoiler:
Are the pills of a type that can be precisely bisected? My limited understanding of pharmacy is that some pills are containers for the real medicine, the exterior preventing the interior from being exposed/used up too soon in the system; cutting them in half would reduce their effectiveness.

Pseudo-pharmacy aside, 'exactly one' suggests there's a solution which avoids the mess of inexact fractions and deals entirely with integers (where one is good but zero or two are fatal). Admittedly, so far, my only solution is to write three pills off as wasted and hope I can refill a prescription early...

Spoiler:
Even if they can be bisected perfectly, the solution also assumes an even distribution of the active ingredient, which is not necessarily the case

Spoiler:
It is USUALLY the case, actually, given the way pills are made, but even if it isn't, no prob bob: weigh the pills, crush them or open them and pour them out (depending on what type they are), mix them yourself, then measure them out again the same way the manufacturer would. This could pose a problem with "coated" tablets in which the medication is not meant to come in direct contact with the stomach lining, but consuming with plenty of water and knowing that you will only be doing it a few times and not repeatedly, you should be fine even then.

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Sableagle
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Re: Two Pills

Postby Sableagle » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:55 pm UTC

1) Calm down.
2) Get one pill from each bottle and take them, buying myself 24 hours.
3) Post my problem on a geeks' forum as a logic puzzle and hope they can solve it for me.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

Exouxas
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Re: Two Pills

Postby Exouxas » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:12 am UTC

Is this correct? Don't want to look at the spoilers in case I'm wrong :>

Spoiler:
You add one more of the first pill, blend them together and put it back into the pills, then take two of those and save the other two for tomorrow

Fume Troll
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Re: Two Pills

Postby Fume Troll » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:11 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:1) Calm down.
2) Get one pill from each bottle and take them, buying myself 24 hours.
3) Post my problem on a geeks' forum as a logic puzzle and hope they can solve it for me.

3) Get more pills one day earlier than planned.


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