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Usenet Newsgroups : rec.puzzles Hall of Fame

The rec.puzzles Hall of Fame is a compilation of over 500 of the most popular puzzles that have been posted and discussed in the rec.puzzles newsgroup. In most cases a detailed solution has been provided.

Many of these puzzles also appear in Braingle's own collection.

Hall of Fame
Categories : real-life : three.switches.p

A lightbulb is turned on by one of three switches, but you cannot see
the bulb from the switches.  How can you determine which switch turns
on the bulb if you only want to go from the switches to the bulb once?

Assume that the switches are clearly marked indicating which
orientation is on, that the lightbulb is an ordinary household
incandescent bulb, that you do not have assistants or apparatus such as
mirrors available, and in general that this is not a trick question.

Can you solve it for four switches?


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