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A painting job

Painting brush

It was a mere coincidence. Amol had just finished reading how Tom Sawyer whitewashed the fence when his mother told him that their fence needed a few coats of paint.

Well, there was no way out. Amol picked up the pail of paint and brush, and set out to paint. Now Amol's younger brother, Babul, wanted to help him. Any help is always welcome!

Babul, being younger, takes five hours more than Amol to paint the fence if he were to do it all alone (Don't ask me how I know this; I just know). Both of them start painting (from different ends, of course) at the same time. After working for some time, Babul takes a 30-minute break to have some snacks. Amol continues to work meanwhile. Babul comes back and resumes his work and Amol, now, takes a 30-minute break while Babul continues to paint. Amol comes back after the break and both continue with the work.

The two brothers, since the time they started, complete the painting job in 6 hours and 30 minutes. Now the question is: How long would each brother take if he were to complete the work all alone?






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  • Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
  • IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
  • Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
  • Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
  • IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
  • Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
  • Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu