Two Buckets You have two buckets. One has a capacity of 3 gallons, and the other has a capacity of 4 gallons. Your task is to use these two buckets to get 2 gallons of water. How do you do this? Stefaan R. M. Meeuws Friday, November 28, 2003 Fill the 3 gallon up and pour it into the 4gallon one. Fill the 3 gallon up again and top up the 4 gallon with the water from the 3 gallon bucket. You are left with 2 gallons in 3 gallon bucket. msafar Friday, November 28, 2003 That was mighty quick, msafar. My solution was much lengthier: Fill the 4 gallon bucket. Pour it in the 3 gallon bucket. You are left with 1 gallon in the 4 gallon bucket. Empty the 3 gallon bucket. Pour the 1 gallon from the 4 gallon bucket in the 3 gallon bucket. 2 more gallons can be added to the 3 gallon bucket before it's full. Fill the 4 gallon bucket. Fill up the 3 gallon bucket with the 4 gallon bucket. You will be able to add 2 gallons to the 3 gallon bucket, so you are left with 2 gallons in the 4 gallon bucket. Stefaan R. M. Meeuws Sunday, November 30, 2003 Look at it this way, you have 3 and 4 and need to come up with a 2 using simple mathematic operations (addition and subtraction) in the most straightforward way. In msafar’s method, it boils down to 3 + 3 – 4 = 2.  He or she used 6 gallons of water and dumped 4 gallons of water. In Meeuws’ method, it is 4 + 4 – 3 – 3 = 2.  He or she used 8 gallons of water and dumped 6 gallons of water. Of course you can throw in multiplication and say it is 3 * 2 – 4 = 2 or 4 * 2 – 3 * 2 = 2, but multiplication is just another way of writing addition. If I remember correctly, the movie “True Lies” (1994) staring current California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has a scene with a similar puzzle.  How to make 4 gallons of water with a 3-gallon bucket and a 5-gallon bucket? Solution 1 5 + 5 – 3 – 3 = 4 Fill the 5, pour into 3 and dump the 3. Pour the remaining 2 in 5 to 3. Fill the 5 again, pour into 3, now you have 4 in 5, done. Solution 2 3 + 3 + 3 – 5 = 4 Fill the 3, pour into 5. Fill the 3 again, pour into 5 and dump 5. Pour the remaining 1 in 3 to 5. Fill the 3 again, pour into 5, now you have 4 in 5, done. Do not remember which solution was presented in the movie though. JHY Monday, December 01, 2003 It was "Die Hard with a vengeance" dude not True Lies Gabriel Tuesday, January 13, 2004 Sorry about the misinformation.  I got confused. JHY Tuesday, January 13, 2004 i just watched the die hard with a vegence movie :) and i missed the solution so i had to look it up haha kromped Saturday, February 07, 2004 Funny... I'm here because of Die Hard With a Vengeance also. The dude that posted before me must've seen the EST feed. :) Daniel Buki Sunday, February 08, 2004 Good Discussion about the problem,...I found the site just now. PradeepKumarReddy Tuesday, February 17, 2004 yea i just watched the movie and im like im not gonna die cuz i dont know this HAHA YEa Wednesday, March 03, 2004   Fog Creek Home