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Math Help - A chinese puzzle with coins

  1. #1
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    Question A chinese puzzle with coins

    Hello

    You have 5 coins. Two types of them. Two of them are red, three of them are blue, and they are positioned like this:

    OoOoO

    Now how do you make them position like this:

    OOO
    oo

    If you only can:

    Move two coins at a time.
    You must always move a blue coin and a red coin.
    You are not allowed to move two coins of the same color
    You are not allowed to flip the position of the coins (always use two fingers, dont twist your arm and fingers around)

    My uncle from the Chinese part of my family gave this to me a week ago, i still cant figure it out..
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  2. #2
    MHF Contributor
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    Hi

    Normally the rule says that you must move two consecutive coins

    To find the solution start from the end

    OOOoo

    The last movement involved one blue coin and one red coin that must be consecutive : there is only one choice (the third and fourth coins)

    OO__oOo : this leads to a dead end
    OoOO__o : this one works. Find the last but one movement and so on

    The job can be done in 5 movements
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by running-gag View Post
    Hi

    Normally the rule says that you must move two consecutive coins

    To find the solution start from the end

    OOOoo

    The last movement involved one blue coin and one red coin that must be consecutive : there is only one choice (the third and fourth coins)

    OO__oOo : this leads to a dead end
    OoOO__o : this one works. Find the last but one movement and so on

    The job can be done in 5 movements
    Hello

    But if I follow your steps, I can do it in 3 steps.
    OoOoO
    OoOOo
    OOOoo

    I think I dont understand the rules properly. Can you insert the coins between the other ones (like I do in the last step)? Must you not always move to consequtive different coins after each other?

    Brilliant advice to start from the finish by the way, I never thought about it like that.
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  4. #4
    MHF Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vindicator View Post
    Hello

    But if I follow your steps, I can do it in 3 steps.
    OoOoO
    OoOOo
    OOOoo

    I think I dont understand the rules properly. Can you insert the coins between the other ones (like I do in the last step)? Must you not always move to consequtive different coins after each other?

    Brilliant advice to start from the finish by the way, I never thought about it like that.
    No because you are not allowed to flip the coins

    In the rule I know you must put 2 fingers (usually your forefinger and your middle finger) each one on 2 consecutive coins.
    Then you must slide both coins next to the other coins.
    For instance starting from the beginning
    _____OoOoO
    - If you take the 2 first coins you can do
    _______OoOOo
    - Instead if you take the 2nd and 3rd coins you can do
    ___oOO__oO
    _or___O__oOoO

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