# The Gold Bar Logic Problem

Some people put total trust in their degree from a place of higher learning as proof that they know the answers. This is a sad artifact of formal higher education and is artificially limiting the creativity possible in the world today. Maybe after spending so much time and money taking tests where only one answer was accepted as correct one mistakenly seeks to apply that pattern to the rest of life.

There is often more than one right answer. The following is an example of how that plays out using a logic question commonly used in employment interviews for technical positions.

### Problem:

1. You must hire a person to work for exactly 7 days.
2. You have a gold bar to be used to pay them.
3. You must pay that person the same, equal amount of the gold bar for each of the 7 days of work.
4. They must get paid every day and they must end up with all of the gold bar at the end of the week.
5. You are permitted to make only two cuts in the gold bar in order to accomplish this.

This is generally accepted by the less creative as the correct and ONLY answer.

Visually divide the bar in seven equal parts and make a cut so you have a part with 1/7th of the total size, a second cut to give you a part with 2/7ths of the total size and the remaining part of 4/7. Now make change.

• Day 1: hand the worker the first part (1/7th of the whole bar).
• Day 2: hand them the second part (2/7th of the whole bar) and take back the first (1/7th of the whole bar).
• Day 3: hand them the first part again (so they now have 3/7ths).
• Day 4: hand them the third part and take back the first and second (so they have 4/7ths).
• Day 5: hand them the first part (so they have 5/7ths).
• Day 6: hand them the second part and take back the first (so they have 6/7ths).
• Day 7: hand them the first part again (they now have all of the bar).

But this is not the only answer to the question as it was stated above.

Make or print the individual letters G O L D B A R and make two horizontal cuts across all the letters, 1/3 down from the top and 1/3 up from the bottom, to create equal thirds. This provides letters (in three parts per letter) that can be paid out at the rate of one letter each day to the employee. This works well if you own a sign shop and the employee wanted a large sign with the letters GOLDBAR as payment but the letters were too large to fit in their car without your cuts.

The gold bar could be melted and spooned out to the worker in 7 equal parts. The two mandatory cuts would be of no effect when the gold is in liquid state.

The Gold Bar is a pub. The worker's job is to dismantle the pub in 7 days. You make two token cuts in the bar and the worker must take away an equal amount of the pub each day as pay.

The worker is hired to make very exacting cuts using very specialized tools used to cut gold and minimize loss. The worker makes the first 4 cuts while training you how to use the equipment. You make the last two cuts. The training takes 7 days with the worker taking home one part each day.

Bend the gold bar into a snake folded so you can make the two cuts to end up with seven equal pieces. (Submitted by a reader. Thank you.)