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Old 2009-11-11, 18:46   #1
Flatlander
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"Chris"
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Default Chocolate

You have a bar of chocolate that has 32 squares arranged as 4 x 8. What is the minimum number of breaks that will turn this into its individual squares?

Rules:
No melting, freezing, cutting, sawing, use of ultrasound, WMDs, particle accelerators etc.
Snapping with the fingers in the traditional manner only.

I will not accept responsibility for any injury, death, loss etc.

Last fiddled with by Flatlander on 2009-11-11 at 18:47
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Old 2009-11-11, 18:54   #2
R.D. Silverman
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatlander View Post
You have a bar of chocolate that has 32 squares arranged as 4 x 8. What is the minimum number of breaks that will turn this into its individual squares?

Rules:
No melting, freezing, cutting, sawing, use of ultrasound, WMDs, particle accelerators etc.
Snapping with the fingers in the traditional manner only.

I will not accept responsibility for any injury, death, loss etc.
The problem is not well posed. For example, suppose I break it
with one break into two 4x4 squares. Can I then place one on top
of the other and do another break (i.e. break both at once) to
get 4 2x4 rectangles? Can I then stack them and break again? etc.
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Old 2009-11-11, 19:01   #3
Flatlander
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No 'stacking' allowed.
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Old 2009-11-11, 19:05   #4
Dougal
 
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Bob, i was thinking the same thing. Whats the saying, Great minds think alike.


my guess,just working it out in my head is 31
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Old 2009-11-11, 19:10   #5
CRGreathouse
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatlander View Post
No 'stacking' allowed.
So if the first move was to make two 4x4s, the second move would be required to be splitting a 4x4 into two 2x4s?
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Old 2009-11-11, 19:14   #6
bsquared
 
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How big are the squares? If the bar is appreciably bigger than my hand then I probably couldn't do it with my guess below.


10
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Old 2009-11-11, 19:16   #7
lfm
 
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31
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Old 2009-11-11, 19:17   #8
R.D. Silverman
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flatlander View Post
No 'stacking' allowed.
That's too bad. I like them stacked.
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Old 2009-11-11, 20:43   #9
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What is a "break" ? Even without stacking if one takes the bar in hands and pushes on a inner square, in one movement there are many fractures...

If a "break" of one piece results in two pieces only, I agree the answer should be 31.

Jacob
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Old 2009-11-11, 21:14   #10
Flatlander
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I meant a clean, straight-line break. But I think this has run its course now.

There are at least 4 conclusions:

1) Each clean, straight-line break results in one more piece. So the answer is 31. (Which is annoying and why I don't share my chocolate.)

2) Generous mathematicians have broken nails and strong hands from repeatedly trying to use the optimum 'Binary Method'.

3) They consider this to be "the traditional manner".

4) Defining a well posed puzzle is quite hard.

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Old 2009-11-12, 00:58   #11
retina
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I find that sticking a bar in my back pocket and then sitting down tends to create many pieces in just one 'breaking event'.

And later, sitting on a radiator long enough will put it back into 'one piece' again.
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