Monday, June 2, 2014

Mathville Puzzles: Scarves & Gloves

Sally Parker and Lisa Worthington work at the Golden Spiral Boutique on Heptagon Street in Mathville. They like to challenge each other with puzzles every day, and today is no exception.  This morning during a coffee break, Lisa said, "Sally, there are three new felt boxes in the stock room. One is labeled GLOVES, the other is labeled SCARVES, and the third one is labeled GLOVES & SCARVES.  But you see, I switched all the labels around and they are all wrong! I bet you can’t switch the labels back correctly by looking only at ONE object in ONE of the boxes. “

Sally smiled and replied, "I bet you MV$10 I can do it."

"Deal," said Lisa, and they both went into the stock room, where Sally opened one of the felt boxes and took out an object. After a few minutes, Sally gave Lisa the right answer and won the bet.

Can you repeat her success? Which felt box would you open first, and how would you rearrange the labels? Give the answer and explain your reasoning.

Contest Rules

  • You must send the solution via email to Laura Skinner at
  • Solution due by Wednesday, June 11th at 11:59 p.m. Solutions sent after the deadline will not be considered.
  • You must email the solution from your PVCC email address.
  • You must explain how you arrived at the solution -- that is, you must show your work, explain your reasoning. 
  • Only correct solutions with explanations of the reasoning used to arrive at the solution will be considered.
  • Three entries will be drawn from all the correct solutions, to determine a first, second and third place.
  • The first place prize will be a $30 gift certificate to the PVCC Bookstore.
  • The second place prize will be a $15 gift certificate to the Mermaid Express coffee cart.
  • The third prize will be a big Hershey’s milk chocolate bar.
  • Drawing will be conducted on Thursday, June 12th. Winners will be notified by email, and their names will be published on a blog post. Please check your email!
  • The solution to the puzzle will be published on the blog after winners have been announced.
  • Winners must pick up their prizes by Thursday, June 19th at 8 p.m., or they forfeit their prizes. Prizes must be picked up in person. Please present your student I.D.