The Grey Labyrinth is a collection of puzzles, riddles, mind games, paradoxes and other intellectually challenging diversions. Related topics: puzzle games, logic puzzles, lateral thinking puzzles, philosophy, mind benders, brain teasers, word problems, conundrums, 3d puzzles, spatial reasoning, intelligence tests, mathematical diversions, paradoxes, physics problems, reasoning, math, science.



Nefarious Ned, the archetypal villain, is planning on blowing up the old silver mine tomorrow morning with Perilous Pauline trapped inside. Historically, his method has been to tie up Pauline, 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 demolish the bank/dam/old sawmill with Pauline inside, Heroic Hank arrives and rescue her.

Ned's got 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 Hank and Pauline.

Unfortunately, Ned sent his non-alliterative comic relief henchman, Slow Jim to buy his fuses. Jim 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 Ned's 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 Pauline is usually rescued.

Another possibility would be to light one fuse, wait fifteen minutes, then extinguish it. If only Ned had a watch, that would work.

Can you help Ned find a forty-five minute fuse?

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