Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
May 2024

Hot Tea

A tea factory has a certain number of packers all of whom pack 1 kilo unmarked boxes filled with tea. Each packer fills each box with exactly 1 kilo of tea. One of the packers consistently steals 10g of tea from each box he/she packs. The manager knows that the culprit is one of the packers but he doesn’t know which one. As he is trying to work out how to unmask the culprit a porter is wheeling an electronic weighing machine through the factory. The manager asks the porter if he can use the machine to help solve his dilemma. The porter replies that the machine is for another department but reluctantly agrees the use of the machine for only one weighing/reading only. Using the weighing machine once to take one reading the manager is able to unmask the culprit. How does he do it?

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2 guesses to Hot Tea

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  • Roolstar

    If the factory has 4 packers for example, the manager should do this:

    He would take 1 tea box from packer number 1 stack, 2 boxes from packer number 2 stack, 3 boxes from packer number 3 stack, and 4 boxes from packer number 4 stack. Then, he weighs all of them in one go.

    If all the boxes were filled correctly, the weighing machine should read 10 Kilos.
    Now all he has to do is calculate the difference between the value shown on the machine with 10 kilos and reveal the thief.

    ex: If the difference is 30 grams, Porter 3 did it…

  • You are absolutely correct.

    By assigning a number to each worker and taking “that” number of boxes from each one (one from worker #1, two from worker #2, etc) he will know exactly who is stealing, in only one weighing.

    Great job, Rool. You’re today’s winner.