Find the Wine


I have nine bottles of wine and one of the nine bottles is poisoned.
I need to find the poisoned bottle with two facts
(1) Poison is deadly, only a sip will cost death
(2) I have two mice to do so.

How should I do it?

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  • 1 Answer(s)

    1. Split the bottles into sets of 3.
    2. Take the first set. (Say, bottles A, B, and C) Mix a small quantity from each of the three bottles and feed the mix to one of the mice.
    2.1. If the mouse died, it means one of the bottles is the poisoned one.
    2.1.1. Since A, B or C is poisoned,  feed the other mouse with a small quantity from one of the bottles, say, A. If the mouse died, bottle A is poisoned. If the mouse remained alive, it means bottle A  is safe. Keep it aside and feed the mouse from one of the remaining bottles. If the mouse died, it means the bottle selected is poisoned. Otherwise, the remaining bottle is the one poisoned.

    2.2. If the first mouse  remained alive after consuming the mix, it means that all bottles in the first set are safe.

    We now have two more sets of bottles and BOTH the mice alive. Hence, repeat the same steps as above (2 – with the second set of bottles. We can determine either the poisoned bottle among Set 2 OR that all bottles in Set 2 also are safe, similar to the case of Set 1.

    If both the mice remained alive after second round, repeat the same with the third and final set of bottles.

    You will either identify the poisoned bottle OR learn that you have been tricked to believe that one of the bottles is poisoned. 🙂 

    Viji_Pinarayi Expert Answered on 13th February 2022.
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