Puzzles & Quizzes

Can You Solve the Missing Sock Puzzle?

This tricky logic puzzle by MindYourDecisions is pretty relatable — who hasn't lost a sock in the laundry? To figure it out, you'll have to use some probability and algebra.

The Problem

Time to dust off your probability skills with this word problem by Presh Talwalkar of the MindYourDecisions YouTube channel. Here it is: A man only purchases pairs of black socks and white socks, and he keeps all of them in one drawer. He just lost one sock in the laundry. Now, if you randomly grab two socks, they'll match in color exactly 50 percent of the time. He owns more than 200 socks, but fewer than 250 socks, and he has more black socks than white socks. How many of each color sock does he own? Which color sock was lost in the laundry? Watch the video below to figure out how to solve the puzzle, or scroll down to read the answer.

Can You Solve the Missing Sock Puzzle?

Hopefully you remember how to do systems of equations!

The Answer

The total number of socks is 225, and there are 105 white socks and 120 black socks. A white sock went missing in the laundry. Watch the video above to learn how it was solved.

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Written by Curiosity Staff December 12, 2016

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