An evil king has 1000 bottles of wine. A neighboring queen plots to kill the bad king, and sends a servant to poison the wine. The king's guards catch the servant after he has only poisoned one bottle. The guards don't know which bottle was poisoned, but they do know that the poison is so potent that even if it was diluted 1,000,000 times, it would still be fatal. Furthermore, the effects of the poison take one month to surface. The king decides he will get some of his prisoners in his vast dungeons to drink the wine. Rather than using 1000 prisoners each assigned to a particular bottle, this king knows that he needs to murder no more than 10 prisoners to figure out what bottle is poisoned, and will still be able to drink the rest of the wine in 5 weeks time. How does he pull this off?
From the Bohr Group:
"Rather than using 1000 prisoners each
assigned to a particular bottle, this king knows that
he needs to murder no more than 10 prisoners"...
That would murder no more than one prisoner. Perhaps
The puzzle should be "the king knows he need not
employ more than 10 prisoners
(to do anything). We also assume the granularity
of precision at which one can detect the poison's
effect is, say, one day?