Forty-Five Minutes
12 Sep 2008

How do we measure forty-five minutes using two identical wires, each of which takes an hour to burn. We have matchsticks with us. The wires burn non-uniformly. So, for example, the two halves of a wire might burn in 10 minute and 50 minutes respectively.


Heard from Sridhar Rajagopalan in 1998.


Light three out of four ends. When two ends meet, light the fourth!


How would you measure 20 minutes, 40 minutes, and so on? In general, for measuring 60 * (a / b) minutes, see a short article by Adam Costello.

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