Puzzles & Quizzes

Can You Solve the Seven Candles Logic Puzzle?

As much as we love learning fascinating new things, we like putting our noggins to work just as much. In this logic puzzle that originally appeared as a riddle of the week on Popular Mechanics, you can test out your brain skills without having to reach for a calculator. Can you solve this candle-themed logic puzzle?

Here's the Puzzle

In front of you is a big, round cake with seven candles stuck in it, arranged in a circle along the edges. Your goal is to blow out all of the seven candles. But, there are some rules. Once you blow out one candle, the adjacent candles will also be extinguished. If you blow on an extinguished candle, it will reignite, and also change the state of its adjacent candles. Basically, when you blow on a candle, it โ€” as well as the candles on either side โ€” will go from lit to unlit, and vice versa. How can you go about extinguishing all of the candles with the fewest blows? Scroll down to read the answer.

Here's a quick hint: Blowing on the same candle twice is the same as not blowing on it at all. Blowing on the same candle three times is essentially the same as blowing on it once.

Here's the Solution

The answer to this problem is seven. It's pretty simple; you can just blow on each candle one time. Start by blowing on a candle, and work your way around the circle one by one. You will end up relighting some candles by this method, but they will eventually be extinguished by an adjacent blow. You will never have to blow directly on any given candle more than once. Did you get it?

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Written by Joanie Faletto October 30, 2017

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