Thursday, May 12, 2011

No One Volunteered to Put an Apple on Their Head

Straight parabolic fletchings on an arrow.Image via Wikipedia
William is playing archery blindfolded. The first arrow he shoots, unfortunately misses the bulls eye. The second arrow misses the bulls eye by an even wider margin. William shoots his third and final arrow.

How likely is it William's third shot is also worse than his first shot?


  1. You're not given the probability he hits it in the first place so you can't make a proper tree diagram. Generally speaking though, I'd say he would get better than his second shot since he would have learned which steps to take to correct his aim. Since you only have 2 options though 'better' or 'worse' or even 'same' if you want to be pedantic you could say the chance would be 1/2 or 1/3 but there's so many other factors involved.

  2. Without feedback, William is probably trying to correct his line. In that case, he should be trying to hit either between the two shots or even further out. So my guess is that he is going to be at least as wide off as the first shot.

  3. There were some other comments with interesting answers here, but then Blogger went belly-up from Wednesday to Friday, which removed those comments. Sorry about that.

    The answer depends on how you interpret the situation, I guess. If William is getting no feedback on his shots, then his third shot is just as likely to be off target as his first, irregardless of how off his second shot was.

    If he's getting some sort of feedback (I was implying he wasn't supposed to since he's blindfolded) then as some of you pointed out in the comments that were lost that the probabilities get a lot more complicated, if not impossible, to project.


Leave your answer or, if you want to post a question of your own, send me an e-mail. Look in the about section to find my e-mail address. If it's new, I'll post it soon.

Please don't leave spam or 'Awesome blog, come visit mine' messages. I'll delete them soon after.

Enter your Email and join hundreds of others who get their Question of the Day sent right to their mailbox

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

The Lamplight Manor Puzz 3-D
Are you looking for a particular puzzle, riddle, question, etc? Or do you want to find the answer today rather than wait till tomorrow!