on Instagram

Life, universe and everything

A brain-teaser for you!

My dear readers,

I have a boggling brain-teaser for you.

Joe is sick and he has to take his medication. He has 2 kinds of medicine: A and B, each in a separate container.


However, the “A” and “B” pills look exactly the same.

pillsJoe must take precisely 1 “A” pill and 1 “B” pill each day (between 9am and 10am). If he takes more than 1 “A” pill or “B” pill he dies.

One day, Joe pours 1 “A” pill from the “A” bottle in his hand. When he tries to pour 1 “B” pill, 2 “B” pills accidentally fall in his palm. Both “A” and “B” pills look the same, so he cannot tell which of the 3 pills he’s holding is “A” and which are “B”.


The pills are super expensive so Joe is not allowed to waste any. Not now, not ever. So he cannot throw these 3 away and start over or set them aside and decide what to do later.

It is now 9am. He must decide what to do before the clock strikes 10am.

What does he do?

Leave a comment with your answer.

Later edit: I will post all your comments later, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t come up. This way it will be fair for everyone!

Comments (5)

  • First of all, Joe should quit screwing around with stuff that could kill him. He shouldn’t pour the pills, mix them up, play with them over the toilet, etc…

    Second, Joe should be able to remove the sense of urgency from his 10am meeting with death by simply picking a pill from bottle A and one from bottle B, thus postponing the life and death decision for a later time when he can think clearly, or better yet ask advice from some smarter friends or the internet.

    He should then be able to find the actual solution to his problem, which would be to pick another one of the A pills, cut all 4 in half and take half of each one day, and the other half the next day. He should again pay attention he doesn’t mix the halves, ’cause then he’s proper screwed!

  • easy. what he has to do is to ‘open’ each of the pills and mix all the ‘powder’ from inside the pills together and throw away one of the empty pills so now he has two empty pills and fill them fairly with the mixed powder. He now has 2 pills.


  • I can’t see a good solution, but this is awesome. Please, please, please post the answer soon.

  • Oh, I’m sure this is so obvious. I have no idea.

  • C’est super comme question. Mais j’ai aucune idée!


Write a comment