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Lateral Thinking - Preconceptions

Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:25 am  by

You are in the dark, and on the floor there are six shoes of three colors, and a heap of twenty-four socks, black and brown. How many socks and shoes must you take into the light to be certain that you have a matching pair of socks and a matching pair of shoes?
Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:58 am  by Nsj

3 socks and 4 shoes.

Taking the least favorable case, you pick one of each and then the next one you pick will have a pair.
Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:52 am  by krish

six shoes and two pairs of socks
Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:22 am  by east

3 right-side and 3 left-side shoes; 3 socks.
Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:16 am  by Shubh

Three shoes and Three socks! (worst case being considered)
Three socks can be realized easily.

Regarding three shoes:
One shoe of, say, right foot; and two shoes of another (left, in this case) foot.

The idea is if all three shoes are of different colour, then we just need to get back into dark, put the two left-foot (in the above considered scenario) shoes back, and just take the third left-foot shoe (which would definitely pair well with the already chosen right-foot shoe in the above discussed case)!!

And, of course, if luckily we get left-foot shoe matching with the colour of the right-foot shoe chosen, we are done with our job; just need to keep the third left-foot shoe back!!
Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:05 am  by Klubmerc

You must move two shoes into the light and two socks into the light to know that you have a matching pair of each. There is the possibility that the socks and shoes you move into the light aren't matches, but you MUST move a minimum of two shoes and two socks to know whether they are matches or not.

One must have a potential for optimism to see the answer. Above, others said "worst case scenario", but the question is really looking for the "best case scenario" by using the word "MUST". If you moved one sock into the light and one shoe into the light, it's certainly impossible for you to have match pairs. However when you move the second sock and shoe into the light, assuming the best case scenario, these are matches to the previous sock and shoe and therefore you now "know" that you have a matching pair of shoes and socks.
Sat May 23, 2015 12:58 am  by Strigiphorme

One of each. The shoes are striped with all three colors, and the socks are both black and brown.

EDIT: Typo, meant two of each. :D
Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:06 pm  by bedead

3 socks, 4 shoes :)
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