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Dynamite Fuses

Posted by Karl Sharman on August 14, 2010 – 12:10 am

The villain, Chris, in an old black and white movie is planning on blowing up the old silver mine the following morning with his arch-rival Slavy inside. Historically, his method has been to light the dynamite with an hour long fuse, and get out of town.
Lately, he’s noticed that a few minutes before he’s about to do his dastardly deed, our stalwart hero Cam arrives and saves the day.
Chris has developed a new plan. This time he’s going to use a forty-five minute fuse. With a little luck, the dynamite will dispose of both Slavy and Cam.
Unfortunately, Chris sent his comic relief henchman, Forsythe to buy his fuses. Forsythe came back with a half-dozen of the usual hour-long fuses.
The obvious solution would be to take three-quarters of one of the fuses, but Chris has observed that while the hour long fuses will always burn up in exactly one hour, their rate of burn isn’t constant. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for him to light a fuse and have it burn like crazy for the first fifty minutes, and then slow to a crawl during the last ten minutes. Which, oddly enough, is when Cam rides in to save the day.
Another possibility would be to light one fuse, wait fifteen minutes, then extinguish it. If only Chris had a watch, that would work.
How can Contemptible Chris carry out his dastardly deed – can you help him sort out a 45min fuse?

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  1. 1. forsythe303 Said:

    Option #1:
    Given six one-hour fuses: FUSES A, B, C, D, E, and F (the ones this henchman picked out for Chris) and the job to find forty-five minutes without a watch.

    Chris will light both ends of fuse A and one end of fuse B simultaneously. When fuse A’s burning ends meet (not necessarily half-way due to the different rates of burn), he will snuff out fuse B.

    Fuse B (however long it might be) now has 30 minutes remaining.

    Chris will light Fuse C at both ends and fuse D at one end simultaneously. Just like fuse B, he will snuff out fuse D when fuse C burns out somewhere in the middle. Fuse D now has 30 minutes left.

    Now he will light fuse B at both ends and fuse D at one end. When fuse B meets in the middle, he will snuff out fuse D. Fuse D now has 15 minutes remaining. Light fuse D, fuse E, and fuse F simultaneously and snuff out fuses E & F as soon as fuse D burns out. Fuses E & F now have 45 minutes each remaining.

    Being a professional disaster planner, the henchman Forsythe recommends that Chris connect both fuses E & F to the dynamite using two different paths (just so their ends meet at the same spot. Chris will then light them both at the appropriate time and lets see Cam ride in and try to stop two fuses at the last minute. Tee hee hee, what a dastardly henchman I am.

    Option #2:
    Do the same as above, but when Chris lights fuses B & D, Forsythe secretly also lights fuse F (which he never told Chris about – he only supplied Chris with five of the six fuses). He snuffs it out when Chris snuffs out fuse D. Fuse F now has 15 minutes left. Forsythe has already secretly connected fuse F to the dynamite and he lights it as Chris goes to connect up fuse E (after burning away 15 minutes). When Chris steps into the mine to connect fuse E he thinks in 45 minutes he will blow both Slavy and Cam to Kingdom come. Just then he hears the unmistakable sound of a burning fuse. He sees a hidden one burning right between his legs. He looks up at the camera and we see that last second realization of impending doom on his face just before the screen goes black and an impact ballon flashes on the screen with the word “BLAM-O!” on it. Fade to black. The next scene opens with Forsythe collecting his reward from Slavy and Cam and riding off into the sunset.

    Option #3:
    Same as above, except Forsythe tells Slavy and Cam about the plot and tells them what time it will happen. He also informs Karl and lures him there to help catch Chris with the promise of enough salt to sell to go into the Numple business, which Karl had always dreamed of doing. But Forsythe subtracts thirty minutes from the time Chris thinks it will happen. That puts Chris, Slavy, Cam, and Karl all in Silver Mine simultaneously, a full fifteen minutes from when Forsythe actually lit fuse F. And as in Option #2, BLAM-O! Forsythe rides off into the sunset on his donkey with two sacks full of what he believes to be salt, which is what was actually the prize item from Silver Mine (Silver Mine was its name, not its contents). He intends to sell it to the local potato chip factory for enough money to open up a new business making Numples. Being just as dastardly as Chris, he lures Karl to his death and steals the Numple idea. He carries with him a chess set made up of nothing but Queens and a deck of regular playing cards. But alas, the river he must cross has secretly been mixed with vinegar, which he smells as he approaches. Unable to stack the playing cards one on top of the next far enough out to form a bridge on which to cross, he determines that vinegar will not be harmful to either him or his donkey. And besides, he thinks, instead of selling salt he will sell vinegar flavored salt to be used in the flavoring of potato chips. Much to his surprise, Chris, Slavy, Cam, and Karl were all secretly involved in the plot against him, not the other way around. None of them were actually in the mine when it blew and they were on a little hill overlooking the river. As he and the donkey began to cross, it became painfully clear that the saddle bags did not contain salt after all. The donkey could not go on. Forsythe was stuck in the middle of the river, whose force was growing more rapd as time progressed. It was too deep for him to get off and walk and he was unwilling to give up his chess board or deck of cards in order to swim to safety. The four amigos looking down on him began to laugh so loudly he heard them, looked up in their direction and shook a fist at them. He yelled, “I’ll get you three for filling my saddle bags with…” What was in the bags?

    Forsythe, just so you all know, does not like Option #3. He also realizes the futility in his crossing the vinegar laden river with his bags of what should have been salt. Had he successfully been able to cross, when he got to the potato chip factory, he would have found his bags to have been empty and he would have no money with which to open the Numple factory after all.

    And with that, I end my comic relief for the day. :-)
    Darn you Chris, Slavy, Cam, and Karl I will get even with you yet.

  2. 2. Random Guy Said:

    Nice little story you got there Forsythe!

  3. 3. Karl Sharman Said:

    Starts off well Forsythe, but there are easier ways…..

    PS the Numple recipe is even more closely guarded than Coke or KFC recipes….

  4. 4. David Truesdale Said:

    Light two fuses and watch for them to slow down and stop them. This would give you two 10 min fuses. Cut one 10 min fuse in half and add it to the end of the other 10 min fuse giving you a 15 min fuse. Light the 15 min fuse and a 60 min fuse at the same time. When the 15 fuse ends stop the 60 min fuse and you will have a 45 min fuse.

  5. 5. Jhowmar Said:

    A first you need to know if there is a side a / b and if they all burn uniform(in the fact you light from side a and it will burn fast at the same part and whatnot) other wise if you light 2 different one’s on different sides you might be burning them the same way or they still might burn different.

    B i’ve been drinkin now so this might come out weird and long

    if they are labled then quick way

    only need 4(a / b / c) + d(final cut)

    not saying these are drawn right sections may be different length then they look

    a a a a a
    b b b b b
    c c c c c
    #1 find 30 mins
    a a a
    b b b
    c c c c c
    #2 cut C to match eithe a or b
    a a a
    b b b
    c c c
    #3 find 15 mins b/c
    b b
    c c
    #4 cut D to a+c
    a a c c
    d d d d

    lookin at it i don’t think it’s much easier then Forsythe

  6. 6. jhowmar Said:

    my formating didn’t come out last night

    a a a—-
    —-b b b
    c c c c c
    #2 cut C to match eithe a or b
    a a a—-
    —-b b b
    —-c c c
    #3 find 15 mins b/c
    ——b b
    —-c c–
    #4 cut D to a+c
    a a c c–
    d d d d–

  7. 7. Eketahuna Said:

    Like the story Forsythe !

    Providing you can snuff out a fuse and reuse the remaining later …

    Light fuse A at one end, and fuse B at both ends at the same time (bend fuse B so both ends are together to make things easier ?)
    When fuse B goes out (30 mins) light the other end of fuse A (30 mins remaining) and one end of fuse C. When fuse A goes out (15 mins later), snuff out fuse C and the remaining fuse will be 45 mins.

  8. 8. Chris Said:

    I reckon Eketahuna has come up with the answer that Karl wanted.

  9. 9. Random Guy Said:

    But he doesnt have a decent storyline!

  10. 10. arcaniondeath Said:

    ok all of these are wrong. eketahuna ur close. you set 4 fuses in front of you ligth fuse A at both ends and all the rest at one. thus giving u 30 min when fuse A goes out the other 3 (B C D) will have 30 min douse them out obviously. set B aside its keep till end its safe dont light lol. so now you have C & D both 30 min light C at both ends and D at one this will give you 15 min for D. BAM slap B & D together and watch the dreams come true.

  11. 11. arcaniondeath Said:

    and for thoes who want to have one whole fuse put B & D together so they burn for 45 min at the same time light fuse E leaving only 15 min on fuse E. Now set the last fuse(F) next to it. light both at one end and on the last fuse F you will have exactly 45 min in one whole fuse.

  12. 12. Eketahuna Said:

    True :-( There is a catch here – if I was coming up with a decent storyline, I would have to have had vast quantities of beer and/or gin, in which case I wouldn’t be here typing !
    Oh, how I long for the days of the early 90’s when I could have handled both at the same time …
    So sorry about that, I’ll try better next time.

  13. 13. Kayleigh Said:

    Send Forsythe back to the store to get a refund for the 60 minute fuses, and buy the right ones? or EVEN, Chris could go do it himself. And if forsythe doesnt have the recipt, Chris could just keep the 60 minute fuses for another day, and bu a 45 min one. Come ON, does it really have to be that complicated?

  14. 14. Karl Sharman Said:

    Chris can use the other fuses in lieu of a watch. Here’s how:

    First, he takes one fuse and forms a loop so that the two ends touch at point A. Call this Fuse AA.
    Next, he takes a second fuse and touches one end of it to the two ends of Fuse AA, and straightens it out to point B. Call this Fuse AB.

    It’s looking like a lollipop at this stage.
    Then, he takes a third fuse and touches it to the loose end of Fuse AB, at point B. This will be Fuse BC.
    A lollipop with a really long stem…..
    Now Chris touches a match to point A. Fuse AA will begin burning at both ends, while Fuse AB will start to burn from A to B.

    Because AA is burning at both ends, it will burn twice as quickly. Chris waits patiently, and as soon as AA is completely gone, a half hour has elapsed. He then immediately touches a match to point B, starting BC burning, and igniting the unlit end of AB.

    At the moment B ignites, Fuse AB has half an hour left. But now it will burn twice as fast (burning at both ends), and finish in fifteen minutes. As soon as AB disappears, Chris extinguishes BC and knows what remains will burn for forty-five minutes.

    How can I post a diagram?

  15. 15. Jacob Said:

    Light fuse A at both ends and at the same time one end of fuse B

    Wait until fuse A meets in the middle and extinguish fuse B leaving 30 mins left on fuse B

    Next light both ends of fuse B and one end of fuse C, when fuse B burns out 15 mins will have passed leaving 45 mins on fuse C

  16. 16. Chris Said:

    Hi Karl, that seems to be the same (bar a few minor details) as Eketahuna’s solution (post 7).

    I haven’t tried, but you might be able to post a diagram in your original problem – definitley could do that on the old site.

  17. 17. Caleb Dutrow Said:

    Im going to try and make it as simple as possible for Chris and ask him to just ignite the full-length, one hour, fuse fifteen minutes earlier than he had origionally planned

  18. 18. Pheonix Said:

    there are alot of ways to do this one. you have A,B,C,D,E,F
    Light A and B on two different ends. when they meet. uv got 30 mins each. out them. line them up again. repeat. when they meet. uv got 15 mins. im sure you all can follow where this is going. line up with C, burn both when A or B, whichever you used, burns out. C now has 45 mins.

  19. 19. jpsantanaz Said:

    Simply remove 1 quarter of the 60 minute fuse That leaves 45 minutes How hard can it be people please

  20. 20. Chris Said:

    Hi jpsantanaz. It’s harder than that – try reading the question (please).

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