Puzzles & Quizzes

Can You Solve the Steak Flipping Logic Puzzle?

Ready for a flashback to middle school math class? The steak-flipping logic puzzle featured in "Fundrum My Conundrum: A Book of Riddles" by Ray Epstein and Ben Kovler is a simple algebra problem that might throw you off a bit. And if you have a small grill at home, this fun brain teaser might actually help you solve a summer barbecue problem of your own. Keep reading for the puzzle and the answer. Good luck!

Here's the Puzzle

It's summertime, and you want to fire up the grill on your back porch and cook some steaks for you and your two friends. You're all strapped for time, so you need to cook these three steaks quickly. The only problem is your humble little grill can only fit two steaks at a time. It takes exactly 10 minutes to grill one side of a steak on your grill, and you, obviously, need to cook both sides of all three steaks. What is the minimum amount of time it would take to grill both sides of all three steaks? Hurry up! Your friends are getting hungry.

Can you solve it? Give it a try, and scroll down when you're ready to read the answer.

Here's the Answer

Before we get to the answer, here's a quick hint: You don't need to cook one steak fully before getting started on the others.

The fastest way to fully cook all three steaks won't have them finished at the exact same time, but that's okay. Your friends aren't expecting you to be Gordon Ramsay. To grill this meal in the shortest amount of time, here's what you need to do: First, fully cook side A on two steaks at the same time. This will take you 10 minutes. Then, grill the third steak on side A with one of the other steaks grilling on side B. This will take another 10 minutes, making it 20 minutes total that have elapsed so far. Right now, you have one fully cooked steak and two that need to be grilled on one side. Lastly, you'll cook the final two uncooked sides of steaks. The total time this will take you is 30 minutes, which is your answer. Eat up!

For more head-scratching puzzles and riddles, check out Ray Epstein and Ben Kovler's "Fundrum My Conundrum: A Book of Riddles." We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase through that link, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

Written by Joanie Faletto May 29, 2018

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