Baron Münchhausen Redeems Himself: Bounds for a Coin-Weighing Puzzle

Tanya Khovanova, Joel Brewster Lewis


We investigate a coin-weighing puzzle that appeared in the 1991 Moscow Math Olympiad. We generalize the puzzle by varying the number of participating coins, and deduce an upper bound on the number of weighings needed to solve the puzzle that is noticeably better than the trivial upper bound. In particular, we show that logarithmically-many weighings on a balance suffice.

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