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You're On Your Own, Google-philes...

The World Almanac has a ton of uses, but alas: acing an interview with Google may not be one of them. Or at least, that's the conclusion I come to after reviewing this list of Crazy Questions at Google Job Interviews. Yeah, if you spend any time online at all, you've seen lists like this before. But some of these questions were new to me. Among the highlights:

9. Every man in a village of 100 married couples has cheated on his wife. Every wife in the village instantly knows when a man other than her husband has cheated, but does not know when her own husband has. The village has a law that does not allow for adultery. Any wife who can prove that her husband is unfaithful must kill him that very day. The women of the village would never disobey this law. One day, the queen of the village visits and announces that at least one husband has been unfaithful. What happens? superchicken.jpg

13. Four people need to cross a rickety rope bridge to get back to their camp at night. Unfortunately, they only have one flashlight and it only has enough light left for seventeen minutes. The bridge is too dangerous to cross without a flashlight, and it's only strong enough to support two people at any given time. Each of the campers walks at a different speed. One can cross the bridge in 1 minute, another in 2 minutes, the third in 5 minutes, and the slow poke takes 10 minutes to cross. How do the campers make it across in 17 minutes?

17. You have five pirates, ranked from 5 to 1 in descending order. The top pirate has the right to propose how 100 gold coins should be divided among them. But the others get to vote on his plan, and if fewer than half agree with him, he gets killed. How should he allocate the gold in order to maximize his share but live to enjoy it? (Hint: One pirate ends up with 98 percent of the gold.)

Hmmm... we will (I kid you not) have some new information about notorious pirates and other outlaws in the 2008 Almanac, but I don't think we have room to cover Rules of Booty Distribution. So, yes: you're on your own. But maybe in the 2009 edition...

P.S. When reading these questions, is anyone else reminded of the "Superchicken" team-building exercise from the BBC's The Office (above)?

Link: Crazy Questions at Google Job Interviews (Tihomir Nakov, via Tyler Cowen's excellent Marginal Revolution)

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