Math Problem of the Week

Submitted by david.thacker on Tue, 03/23/2021 - 07:51

The Gallon or the Gallows


"Let's see.  We need 3 toad eyes, 27 hairs from an elephant, 1 ounce of dragon blood, a pinch of paprika, 1 tiger tooth, 13 four-leaf clovers, and exactly 1 gallon of water.  Hurry, please, or you will regret it!"

The head witch's words ring in your ears as she sends you from the school to gather the ingredients for the invisibility potion.  You can't mess this up!  The witch has already threatened to expel you after your levitating spell went awry - it took forever to get all of the classroom's furniture off of the ceiling.

You walk to the mystical shops in the village a few miles away to purchase all of the ingredients, and then stop at the well.  Oh no!! You forgot the gallon container in your rush out the door!  And you need to deliver exactly 1 gallon of water or the potion won't work.  You can't get expelled.  Your parents will freak out!!  There must be a way.... wait!  Two buckets are hanging by the well.  One of them holds exactly 3 quarts and the other holds exactly 5 quarts.  Other than "3 quart" and "5 quart" labels, they bear no other markings.

Since a gallon is 4 quarts, can you work out a series of steps that will allow you to make use of these buckets to collect 1 gallon?

Last Week Answer: 23 Sides


  • Zach Johnson
  • Ethan Fong
  • Jason Petersen
  • Cora Hansen
  • Niel McKinney