This puzzle was shown to me by an 11 year old (Smiti Mittal) and I loved the puzzle. I have come across many puzzles of this nature, but liked this one for its simplicity and possible variations. This is from a book of puzzles used in interviews in Microsoft.
Five pirates have looted 100 gold coins. Now they have to divide their loot.These pirates are very greedy and cruel,so they want to maximize their profit and they don’t shy to kill their pirates. For distribution they decide that senior most pirate will proposes a distribution of the loot. All the pirates will vote, and if at least half accept the proposal, the loot is divided as proposed. If not, the most senior pirate will be killed, and they start over again with the next senior pirate. What solution does the most senior pirate propose? So that he can get the maximum profit, and of course live to have it!
Clarification Note: Assume that all of them are very logical, want to live and are greedy!
Target Group: Age 10 and above, good for adults as well
Variation 1: For younger kids, assume that there are only 3 pirates and then do the puzzle. This puzzle will teach kids a good way to solve a whole class of logic puzzles.
Variation 2: For age group 10 and above or anyone else who does the puzzle, repeat the same puzzle with the following change – Whenever a pirate proposes a distribution, and the group votes, they need more than half to vote in favor of the proposal to have the proposal accepted. If not the pirate who proposed is killed. What should the senior most pirate propose.
As always, answer next weekend!