Brainteaser #3

This is a brainteaser / math problem that Elliot, a fellow PM at eBay, asked me today.  Again, please don’t spoil this by posting an answer via comments.

Problem: Convert 8 (base 10) to base -1.

Have fun, math geeks!

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9 Responses to “Brainteaser #3”


  1. 1 Adam Nash February 22, 2007 at 7:08 am

    As someone who had the opportunity to interview Elliot at one point, I think I missed the opportunity to make him solve brain teasers on the spot.

    Some things you only see clearly with 20/20 hindsight. :)

  2. 2 Elliot February 23, 2007 at 9:15 am

    I actually did get asked the base -1 problem in an interview. :)

    This easy one almost cost me a job:

    If 4 painters can paint 4 houses in 4 hours, how many painters does it take to paint 2 houses in 2 hours?

  3. 3 Deepak February 26, 2007 at 7:13 am

    How does one post the answers if not through comments?

    One from my side – OTTFFSSEN?

  4. 4 Shripriya March 5, 2007 at 12:14 am

    Er… where’s a new post? :)

  5. 5 Adam Nash March 5, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine

  6. 6 Deepak March 16, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Adam, your answer is right. :-)

  7. 7 Caleb March 20, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    I think the question loses something when it’s not delivered with that smug satisfied look that only Elliot has truly mastered. :)

  8. 8 Sunil April 25, 2007 at 3:11 am

    Try this to have a chance of winning $1000 if you submit the correct answer by Friday 27 April 2007.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6589301.stm

  9. 9 Deepak May 6, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    If 4 painters can paint 4 houses in 4 hours, how many painters does it take to paint 2 houses in 2 hours?

    If 4 painters can paint 4 houses in 4 hours, it means 1 painter can paint one house in 4 hours. This means 2 painters can paint one house in two hours. So, the answer is 4 painters can paint 2 houses in two hours.


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