Two sticks and matchbox, measure exactly 45 minutes by burning these sticks


Question: You have two sticks and matchbox. Each stick takes exactly an hour to burn from one end to the other. The sticks are not identical and do not burn at a constant rate. As a result, two equal lengths of the stick would not necessarily burn in the same amount of time.  How would you measure exactly 45 minutes by burning these sticks?

Answer: This puzzle used to be asked in Wall Street interviews long time ago. It is very rare for this question to be asked now but it is a very good question to help you think a little outside the normal thought process.

The answer is really simple. Since the sticks do not burn at a constant rate, we can not use the length of the stick as any sort of measurement of time. If we light a stick, it takes 60 minutes to burn completely. What if we light the stick from both sides? It will take exactly half the original time, i.e. 30 minutes to burn completely.

0 minutes – Light stick 1 on both sides and stick 2 on one side.
30 minutes – Stick 1 will be burnt out. Light the other end of stick 2.
45 minutes – Stick 2 will be burnt out.

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10th 3i InfoTech Academic Books Accenture ACIO ActiveX ADT Agricultural AIEEE Air Force Algebraic Amdocs Android Answers Application Development Aptitude Aptitude Questions Architectures ASP ATOS B.Sc B.Tech.B.E. Bank Exam BCA BE Board Exam Books break-continue Business Plan C C Programming C# C++ Campus campus interview Candidate profile Capgemini Career CDS Certification CET Challenge Circle Cisco class code Cognizant communication Company Company Profile Competitive Exams computer Computer Networks concentric circles constructor Course Credit Suisse CSS CTS Data Structure DBMS DC Deloitte difficult interview questions dimensions Distributed Computing do while dotNet Download ds Dynamic Web Development e-Admit card Educational engineering entertainment Even Odd Events exam schedule exception for loop fresher GATE general Discussion general knowledge Get Placed Government Job Hall Ticket HCL how to answer How to Prepare HR HR Interview HSC hypertext preprocessor IB IBM IBPS IIT Indian Army Information infosys Intelligence Bureau Internship interview Experience interview questions Interview Tips IntroC IntroC# IntroJava IntroPHP IT J2EE J2ME Java JavaScript jobs Language Books Language Tutorial Languages limit number of objectsJava Limit the number of objects being created in JAVA Linux Linux Administrator Linux Developer Logical Questions loops M Tech M.E. M.Tech M.Tech AND B.Tech Management Management Skills Matrices MBA mca ME microsoft mistakes Mixture Mobile Computing mock questions mock test MySql naukri NDA OOP opening Operating System Oracle paper Persistent PHP php programming php string variables PL/SQL Placement placement guide Placement Paper Placement Process preparing for placement presentation probability Problems Professional program Programming Project Engineer project idea Projects Puzzle qualities Question of the day Questions Quiz Question Recruitment Recruitment Pattern Requirement Result Resume Reviews Screen Sizes Scripting Session Skills Software Software Engineering solved papers Source Code Speed time and distance SQL SSC story Stress Interview Study Material study tips submit resume Synonym TCS Tech Mahindra tech news Technical Books Technical Interview Testing thank you letter Thought Time Table TutC++ Unix questions asked in aptitude and inteviews for MCA UPSC verbal Web Designing Web Developer Website Development What to read while loop Wipro Writing Resume