Die Hard With A Jug 

In the film ‘Die Hard With A Vengeance’, John McClane (Bruce Willis) is set a series of tricky puzzles that he must solve, under time-pressure, in order to prevent bombs blowing up schools – and the like. The problem below is one of those he must solve. Leaving aside your feelings of sympathy for the school bomber, can you solve this puzzle in under 4 minutes ?! 

The Problem:

You are given two irregular jugs – with capacity 3 litres and 5 litres, but with no further markings on them to help you measure. You have an unlimited amount of water in the public fountain.

By a series of fillings and transfers between the two jugs, you must end up with a volume of exactly 4 litres in the (larger !) jug. This is then placed on the ultra-sensitive balance, and the bomb is deactivated – or not …!

Good luck, McClane.

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Last modified: June 18, 2007