Morgan Stanley Interview Question Development Support Engineers

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    . There are 3 people on a tower which may collapse due to fire. King(78 kg),Queen(42kg) and Prince(36kg).There is a pulley on the tower with baskets tied to it on both the sides of rope around the pulley. There is a 30kg stone in one of the baskets. There can be two persons or a person and a stone or a person or a stone in the baskets keeping in mind that the weight difference is not more than 6kg else rope would break. You have to bring all the three on ground safely.

    - Anonymous on January 26, 2011 Report Duplicate | Flag
    Morgan Stanley Development Support Engineer Brain Teasers



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I believe the solution is as follows (assume initial configuration to be an empty bucket at the top and a bucket with the stone in it at the bottom):

1. Prince goes down, rock goes up.
2. Queen goes down, Prince goes up.
3. (the rock is dropped from the top of the tower)
4. King goes down, Queen and rock go up.
5. (the rock is dropped from the top of the tower)
6. Prince goes down, rock goes up.
7. Queen goes down, Prince comes up.
8. (the rock is dropped from the top of the tower)
9. Prince goes down, rock goes up.

- Frank on January 28, 2011 | Flag Reply
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Right answer i think.

- Kai on February 16, 2011 | Flag
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correct !!

- Anonymous on October 14, 2012 | Flag
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After Step 5 Config is : Prince and Queen at the top. Since stone is dropped the pulleys are at same position.
Step 6 is useless they try with step 7 directly instead.

- Anonymous on June 07, 2014 | Flag
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1
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I think Anonymous on January 26, 2011 is correct. Just repeat:

1. Prince in one basket and stone in the other. Prince down. Stone up. Prince stays on the ground. Leave the stone at the top.
2. King in one basket and Queen plus stone in the other. King down. Queen and stone up. King stays on the ground. Queen and stone at the top.
3. Queen in one basket and prince in the other. Queen down. Prince up. Queen stays on the ground. Prince at the top.
4. Prince in one basket and stone in the other. Prince down. Stone up. Prince stays on the ground.

- Anonymous on August 10, 2011 | Flag Reply
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Not going to work. King, Queen and stone are all at the top. First you'd have to pull a basket up, which, even if allowed, will result in two baskets up top. Then King, Queen and stone will all drop. I'd guess they'd break the rope.

- Anonymous. on June 28, 2012 | Flag
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Prince goes down alone. Then Queen and stone in one basket, and king in other, King will reach down. Remove stone, and Prince climbs in. in one, Queen in other. Queen will reach down, Prince will go up. Now stone in one basket, Prince in other, Prince will reach down. :)

- Anonymous on January 26, 2011 | Flag Reply
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I think you have to assume that initially the one bucket is empty and sitting at the top of the pulley, and the other is on the ground with the stone in it. When the prince goes down, you just can't say that you then put the queen and stone in one bucket and the king in the other, because one bucket is always on the ground.

- Frank on January 28, 2011 | Flag
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1. King in basket1 (78) and queen + stone (72) in basket2 ... king goes down
2. Queen in basket1 (42) and prince in basket2 (36) ... queen goes down
3. Prince in basket1 (36) and stone (30) in basket2 ... prince goes down

- vabby on February 13, 2011 | Flag Reply
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This solution is ignoring the initial condition. The stone is in one of the baskets. This basket must be at the bottom so no one can immediately get in the basket with the stone.

- Matt on July 28, 2011 | Flag
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I think if one basket with stone is down and one without stone is up. Then any one can pull it up with puly. I think this is solution with minimal steps.

- nerd on January 30, 2013 | Flag
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hey why bother about the stone?

keep the king (78kg) in one basket and in another basket queen(42kg) and prince(36kg) that is 42+36=78.

The weight is equal so there is no problem :)

- baskar on July 30, 2011 | Flag Reply
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not possible as working of pulley will be based on some difference in weight otherwise all will be hanging in air...

- poonam on August 14, 2011 | Flag
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Since one of the baskets got 30 kg stone, it is at the ground. Following sequence will bring all 3 down:

1. Prince (36 kg) gets into basket, it will come down to ground and basket with 30 kg stone will reach top.
2. King unloads stone and queen gets in, basket with prince (36 kg) will come to top and queen (42 kg) on ground. Queen stays on ground.
3. King (72 Kg) gets into one basket, prince and stone (36kg + 30kg) in the other. King reaches safely. Now both king and queen are on ground.
4. Prince changes basket. He comes down as other basket got 30 kg rock.

All 3 reach ground safely.

- Layman on December 04, 2011 | Flag Reply
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King's weigth is 78 and NOT 72

- SS on May 26, 2012 | Flag
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The question is essentially a Hanoi Tower problem

- liufengdip on June 25, 2012 | Flag Reply
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Assume that basket with stone is at bottom (basket2), and empty one is at top (basket1)
1. Queen in basket1, goes down. Basket2 will goto top. Queen land in the ground, so basket2 will come down. Now queen will get into basket 2 (30kg + 42kg).
2. King (78 kg) will get into basket1 and comes down. King will land in the ground. Basket2 will come down, so queen can also land in the ground.
3. Prince get into the basket1 and comes down.

- Swaminathan M on July 29, 2012 | Flag Reply
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prince goes down and calls 911 and in the mean time it's the king and queens problem to get out. no worries

- GekkoGordan on January 26, 2011 | Flag Reply
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Awesome..
Thats an out of box solution.

- Ashish on February 03, 2011 | Flag
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Try answering that to the interviewer..

- Amit Petkar on March 12, 2014 | Flag


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