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Birds on a Wire is a puzzle in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future.

Puzzle

US Version

"Hey there! I'm trying to shoo the birds away from these power lines. Each time I clap my hands, half of them fly away, but one comes back! This pattern never fails. Even if I stand here clapping my hands all day, the number of birds always ends up right back where it started!"

So, how many birds were there on the power lines to start with?

UK Version

"Coo-ee! I'm trying to shoo the birds away from these wires. Every time I clap my hands, half of them fly away, but then one comes back! The pattern keeps repeating itself. Even if I stood here clapping my hands all day, the number of birds would always end up right back where it started!"

How many birds were there on the wires originally?

Hints




Click a Tab to reveal the Hint.

This puzzle is actually quite simple.

US Version

The woman is explaining something quite simple in an overly complicated way...

UK Version

The woman is explaining something simple in an overly complicated way...

US Version

Half the birds fly away, and one comes back. Then half the birds fly away, again, and one comes back again. And so forth, and so forth.

But the number of birds always ends up the same as it started. The answer is so simple, you don't even need to calculate anything.

UK Version

Half the birds fly away and one comes back. Then half the birds fly away again and one comes back again. Etc. etc. etc.

The number of birds always ends up the same as it started. The answer is so simple, you don't even need to calculate anything.

US Version

The phrase "half of them fly away" is the tricky part. In this puzzle, "half" is actually referring to only one bird!

Get it now?

UK Version

The phrase "half of them fly away" is the tricky part. In this puzzle, "half" means just one bird!

Get it now?


Solution

Incorrect

Too bad!

Don't let the birds win!

Correct

Tweet tweet!

Two birds is correct!

Half of two is one, so one bird flies away and then comes right back. So the number of birds always ends up being two.

In this puzzle, using "half" to refer to one bird is potentially quite misleading. Be sure to choose your words carefully, even if you're explaining something simple.

UF146S

A big thanks to http://professorlayton3walkthrough.blogspot.com

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