Friday, August 25

Die Hard 3: The Bottle Puzzle

The Bloke and I watched Die Hard with a Vengeance the other night, which I've never managed to see all the way through, for reasons I'm not really sure of. The only bit that had stuck in my mind was a puzzle that Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson were set by loony villainist Jeremy Irons, in which they had a 3-litre bottle and a 5-litre bottle and had to use them both to put exactly 4 litres of water on a set of scales to prevent a bomb blowing up. They do it so fast in the movie that you can't really follow what happens, and I spent about 25 minutes after that scene blankly watching the movie while the cogs in my mind were turning and trying to figure out how they did it -- and I did! Snaps to me!

So I thought I would post the solution for the next time I watch the movie and can't remember how they did it. Or maybe for anyone who watches the movie, also can't figure it out, and gets on the web to find out how.

Remember they couldn't use an approximate measurement -- i.e. no filling up the 5-litre bottle around four-fifths of the way up.

1. Fill 5L bottle to the top.

2. Fill the 3L bottle using the full 5L bottle, leaving 2 litres in the 5L.

3. Empty the 3L and refill it with the 2 litres you were left with in the 5L.

4. Fill the 5L all the way up again, then pour as much as will fit into the 3L. Since you already have 2 litres in there, only one more litre will fit -- leaving you with 4 litres in the 5L bottle!

Hmm. Now I've written it out it sounds really easy.


Lis said...

The part of the movie that always reminded me too much of math class, but I love the Die Hard movies, I think they're evening making a 4th one.

Anonymous said...

I was stumped on that one! You must be a lateral thinker :) Here's your next challenge:

A farmer has to cross a river. He has a bag of corn, a chicken and a fox and a boat that is large enough only for one item at a time. He cannot leave the chicken with the corn (on either bank) as the chicken will eat the corn. He cannot leave the fox with the chicken,on either bank as the fox will eat the chicken. How can he get all his good across the river?

Janet Ch.

Nell Dixon said...

Oh no! Numbers! Runs screaming in opposite direction

Phillipa said...

I am always flummoxed by this scene and yes - it usually takes all three of us to work it out. Thanks for posting the asnwer jess!

Anonymous said...

1st you take the chicken across the river, then you take the fox across then take the chicken back across with u. Grab the bag of corn take it across then head back for your chicken that took 12.28 sec to figure out.