Kitchen Cups

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Have you ever seen the written form of the Sanskrit language? If so, you probably are amazed at how different this ancient language from India looks from ours. Some English words, however, are based on Sanskrit. For example, cup comes from the Sanskrit work kupo, which means water well. This puzzle requires several water wells.

Puzzle Picture

Suppose you need to measure exactly 1 cup of water. All that you have in your kitchen are two containers. The smaller container holds 3 cups and the larger holds 5 cups. How can you use these two containers to measure exactly 1 cup of water?

(Solution)


Puzzle copied, with permission, from Michael DiSpenzio's book called Critical Thinking Puzzles.

More information is available about this book.

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The Math Forum

10 January 1996