Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Captain Peralta
March 8, 2015 6:30 PM - Season 2, Episode 18 - Subscribe

When Jake's estranged airline-captain dad comes by for a visit, it's for more than just father-son bonding. Meanwhile, Capt. Holt confounds the precinct with a seemingly insoluble brainteaser.

BONUS STUFF: Here's the tricky logic puzzle from tonight's episode. The combined deductive prowess of the Nine-Nine couldn't solve it, but how about YOU?
posted by Strange Interlude (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Although I saw a number of people claim to have come up with the solution on Twitter and elsewhere last night, it appears that most of them forgot that the odd islander out could be either lighter or heavier, which complicates the problem a bit.

One of the commenters over at the AV Club linked to the solution to an identical problem using billiard balls instead of people. Don't peek unless you want to be spoiled!
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:56 AM on March 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

"A teeter totter of taunts"

Pretty sure that Boyle is who Barry Goldberg from the "Goldbergs" grows up to be.
posted by drezdn at 6:20 AM on March 9, 2015

We found a different solution! Our process involved a spreadsheet and some brute force / trial and error. Here's a teaser of our answer (spoilers, but only if you study it closely).
posted by mbrubeck at 10:00 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think I broke my brain a little solving this with mbrubeck.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:14 AM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

A few days later, it strikes me as weird that we had an episode that successfully paid off Peralta's ongoing daddy issues with the promise of more to come, and all I see anyone (myself included) talking about is that darned puzzle.

I guess what I'm saying is that Nintendo should just put out a Professor Layton vs. B99 video game and watch the cashy-moneys roll in.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:45 AM on March 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

I guess what I'm saying is that Nintendo should just put out a Professor Layton vs. B99 video game

posted by tautological at 8:59 PM on March 11, 2015

My solution wasn't quite the same as the link but I think it works. Mbrubeck, that teaser is opaque!
posted by nom de poop at 4:24 AM on March 12, 2015

A little explanation of the solution. SPOILERS if you pay attention (but probably still opaque unless you study these instructions together with the image).

Use the scale three times (columns A, B, and C in the image). Each time put the four "blue" items on one side, and the four "yellow" items on the other. Leave the "black" items off the scale. So the weighings are:

A: 5/7/11/12 vs. 6/8/9/10
B: 2/9/10/12 vs. 3/4/8/11
C: 1/4/10/11 vs. 3/6/7/12

For each weighing, record which group is heavier: Blue (B), Yellow (Y), or Neither (N).

For each of the 24 possible solutions, you'll get a different sequence of results. For example:
  • Item 1 is heavy: NNB.
  • Item 1 is light: NNY.
  • Item 2 is heavy: NBN.
  • Item 2 is light: NYN.
  • Item 3 is heavy: NYY.
  • Item 3 is light: NBB.
You can generate the complete list based on the table, and use it to look up the answer based on a sequence of weighings.

One key point is that each test can produce three different results, so a sequence of three tests can produce up to 3 × 3 × 3 = 27 results. This is enough to distinguish all 24 solutions.

But if any of your tests has only two possible outcomes (for example, if you start with six items on one side and six on the other), then you have at most 2 × 3 × 3 = 18 outcomes, making it impossible to distinguish all possible answers.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:35 AM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

So weird to see Bradley Whitford credibly playing Jake's dad.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 7:21 PM on May 25, 2015

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