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Block of Ice

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.


Puzzle ID:#26973
Fun:*** (2.82)
Difficulty:*** (2.17)
Submitted By:phrebh*us****
Corrected By:phrebh




Warbucks and Swig were arguing about the best way to melt ice when Fred walked up.

Warbucks was saying, "That's ridiculous, the best way to melt a block of ice is to put it in the oven."

To which Swig replied, "Nonsense, boiling water is the way to go. You drop the block into a pot of boiling water and it will melt much quicker than in the oven."

"Listen," Warbucks averred, "even an oven set to only 200 degrees Fahrenheit, the block would melt faster than in your boiling water."

Seeing that Fred had approached, and knowing Fred's penchant for all things esoteric, Swig asked him to intervene. Swig told Fred that he thought that the fastest way to melt a block of ice, without breaking it up first, would be to drop it in boiling water. He also told Fred that Warbucks insisted that a warm oven would be the fastest method. He then asked Fred which of them was right.

Fred simply replied, "why, neither of you, of course."

What is the fastest way to melt a block of ice without first breaking it up into smaller pieces?

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