Table of Contents: Interview Puzzles Dissected

This is a brief summary of the book’s table of contents.


Explains some background, how to use interview puzzles to get useful information, and conventions used in the book.

Chapter 1: Basic Background

Provides some background and general tips for using and solving puzzles in interviews. Starts with a brief history of interview puzzles.

Chapter 2: Probability Primer

Explains basic probability rules that you can use to solve most probability-oriented interview puzzles.

Chapter 3: Russian Roulette

While Russian roulette isn’t a game that you should play in real life, it provides many fun and interesting puzzles. This chapter describes and analyzes many variations of Russian roulette.

Chapter 4: Accomplished Ants

Ant puzzles deal with ants (or your bugs of choice) crawling around in some sort of geometric environment. This chapter explains those kinds of puzzles and tells how to evaluate probabilities such as the probability of an ant finding a particular path or the probability of the ants not colliding.

[Interview Puzzles Dissected, Solving and Understanding Interview Puzzles]

Chapter 5: Subtle Selections

These puzzles asks you to make some sort of selection. For example, you might need to pick random socks from a drawer, or you might need to arrange marbles to maximize the probability of your later picking certain colors.

Chapter 6: Pure Probability

These puzzles ask you to perform tricky probability calculations such as finding the expected number of boys and girls in a country that prefers girls, calculating the probability that you will sit in your assigned seat on an airplane where people are swapping seats, or determining the probability that two people in a classroom will share the same birthday.

Chapter 7: Clever Crossings

These puzzles deal with crossings. You might be crossing a ravine on a rickety bridge or you might be trying to cross a river in a boat that’s too small for everyone to fit at once. Wolves, zombies, and cannibals make the crossings more interesting.

Chapter 8: Mystifying Measurements

These puzzles deal ask you to measure tricky quantities and times by using measuring cups, buckets, and burning ropes.

Chapter 9: Worrisome Weights

These puzzles deal with weighing things. They ask you to use pan balances and spring scales to identify objects with unusual weights, or to weigh objects with a variety of weights.

Chapter 10: Tricky Times and Subtle Speeds

These puzzles include clock puzzles and stories that involve speeds and distances covered. They include puzzles involving birds or other animals traveling back and forth between moving objects such as trains.

Chapter 11: Lucid Logic

These puzzles require you to make logical deductions in fanciful situations. For example, you might need to deduce what a group of people can figure out after several rounds of information exchanges. These puzzles include the ever-popular liar and trugh teller puzzles.

Chapter 12: Roundabout Reasoning

These puzzles have a specific structure that involves a large number of people. To solve these puzzles, you start with a small number of people, see what they can deduce about each other, and then generalize for more people.

Chapter 13: Creative Counting

These puzzles require clever counting. Several require you to map some situation to and from binary representations of numbers.

Chapter 14: Jarring Journeys

These puzzles involve journeys. They include desert-crossing puzzles and path-finding puzzles.

Chapter 15: Non-Intuitive Numbers

These puzzles have numeric solutions. Some you can calculate using algebra. Others require that you look at a puzzle in a certain way.

Chapter 16: Artful Arrangements

These puzzles require you to find clever arrangements of objects, connect objects in patterns, or find ways to make objects move to solve problems.

Chapter 17: Outside the Box

These puzzles have unusual solutions that make you think outside the box. They can be extremely difficult because they usually don’t contain any clues about the solution. They may even be designed to point you in the wrong direction.

If you have questions, thoughts, or suggestions, please post them on the book’s Questions and Discussion page.

[ OverviewTable of ContentsSample PuzzlesQuestions and DiscussionErrata ]

[ Buy at: CreateSpaceBarnes & NobleAmazon ]

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About RodStephens

Rod Stephens is a software consultant and author who has written more than 30 books and 250 magazine articles covering C#, Visual Basic, Visual Basic for Applications, Delphi, and Java.
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