BLACK SOCKS, WHITE SOCKS
There are three sock drawers in a bureau. The drawers are labeled White, Black, and Mixed, but every drawer is labeled incorrectly. One drawer has all white socks, one all black socks, and one mixed white and black socks. You are permitted to close your eyes and pick one sock from one drawer. How can you correctly label each drawer?
Hint: What does the label say?
Absolutely essential is to realize the significance of the clue that every drawer is labeled incorrectly. Once that’s understood, the optimum strategy is to pick a sock from the drawer (incorrectly) labeled Mixed. Inspect the sock. If it is a white sock, then the drawer must be full of white socks. Why? Because it can’t be the Mixed drawer (for then it would be correctly labeled in the first place). The labels on the two remaining drawers are simply exchanged. If it is a black sock, then the drawer gets the Black label. The labels on the two remaining drawers are simply exchanged. The powerful clue that every drawer is incorrectly labeled allows the problem to be solved with just one inspection.
Solution: Select from the Mixed sock drawer.
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