The Messy Girl
Probability puzzles require you to weigh all the possibilities and pick the most likely outcome.
A messy girl had 24 socks in the drawer at her bedroom. There are 6 pairs of red socks, 5 pairs of green socks, and 1 pair of blue ones, but all the socks are mixed up. One night she wanted to go out and went to her bedroom for a pair of socks. As she turned on the light, the lamp didn't work, so she had to find her socks in complete darkness.
What's the smallest number of socks she had to take downstairs to be sure to have a matching pair?
She only had to take 4 socks downstairs. If the first 3 she took were all of a different color, the 4th must match with one of the others.
Feb 15, 2002
|This answer is incorrect, she could have 4 white socks, she needs at least seven |
Feb 15, 2002
|It was confusing at first, I got lost in the information...|
Mar 20, 2002
|sp stinger.... |
Apr 02, 2002
|if you have four white socks u would have a pair... duh...|
May 17, 2002
|spstinger is wrong. Good puzzle.|
Jun 08, 2002
|I think she could take two. If she grabbed the same pair of socks, she would have a pair|
Jun 21, 2002
|This whole problem is just a reminder to keep your socks bound in pairs, in case of a blackout.|
Aug 01, 2002
|But in the Question there is never any mention of white socks|
Oct 13, 2002
|hello! you didnt mention that the socks weren't paired up because, then if like you stated them as a pair. making her to only have to chose 1 pair.|
Dec 03, 2002
|I_am_para_noid is wrong. If she took only two socks she might have a matching pair but she would not be "sure" of having a matching pair which is what the question states. Great question. I was going to post it if it was not already here.|
Mar 20, 2003
|Good teaser, almost caught me out|
May 07, 2004
|eh, forget about colors... i go by thickness... |
Oct 03, 2004
|Great teaser! If they were toe-socks, you would have a different answer though |
Jan 29, 2006
|If she's messy, she's probably pretty lazy too. She most likey wouldn't want to have to pull out any more socks than she had to (such hard work) or even care if they were mismatched. If she took out only 2 socks, she'd still have better than a 40% chance of having a match, which would probably be acceptable odds for such a slug. If she can fit both feet into one sock and hop around like a pogo stick, she could get by with only 1 sock, which is certainly bound to be a match. (Pardon the wise cracks, I'm just being a doofus.)|
Good old standard puzzle though, I enjoyed it.
Mar 07, 2006
|Nice and easy, the way I like them. I go by smell personally. Or I just wear very long pants hence removing the need for matching socks. Boots work well too.|
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