Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
April 2024

A Strange Idea That Does Not Make Sense

A man buys five buckets of paint, each a different color. He didn’t buy them to paint a wall, but to paint the buckets of paint. He wants each of the five colors on each of the five buckets. You have five paint brushes to use.

What is the least amount of strokes it takes to paint the buckets accordingly?
(Note: the top and bottom of the five buckets do not need to be painted)

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5 guesses to A Strange Idea That Does Not Make Sense

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  • Luca

    It would take 25 strokes, because there are 5 buckets which need a minimum of 5 strokes each (one circle per color).

  • craig

    You should be able to make 5 colors with three strokes of paint if you overlap half of each stroke. So if the first stroke is yellow and you overlap half of the next stroke with blue you will get yellow then green then blue. Do the same thing with another color under the blue and you have 5 colors in three stroke. So 15 strokes will do 5 pails.

  • brent

    I’m wondering if the man could line up all the buckets in a row on five spinning turn-tables and hold all five pre-dipped brushes in one hand, then paint all five buckets in one slow and glorious stroke. Possibly a 6th turn-table playing some italian opera at the same time.

  • Brent, you are today’s winner!!
    You not only envisioned what the answer entailed, but you ideas surpassed it. If you stack the buckets on top of each other, you can use each paintbrush to “draw” one long stroke down all five buckets. My answer was five strokes, but that did not place my stacked buckets on a turntable. Brilliant answer Brent. Imagine how loaded that brush would have to be!

  • Margot

    None…He can pour a little paint into a paint tray, put the lid back on, and roll the can in the paint. He can do this for each can.