Question: You have two coconuts and you want to find out how high they can be dropped from a 100 story building before they break. But you only have $1.40 and the elevator costs a dime each time you ride it up (it's free for rides down).
How can you drop the coconuts to guarantee you will find the lowest floor they will break at, while starting and ending at floor 1?
Note: They break when dropped from the same height and they don't weaken from getting dropped.
Answer: You could drop it at floor 1 first (because you start at floor 1). Then you would go to the floors: 14, 27, 39, 50, 60, 69, 77, 84, 90, 95, 99, and 100. Whatever floor your first coconut breaks at, go to the floor above the last floor the coconut survived and drop the second coconut from this floor. Then go up by one floor until the second coconut breaks and that is the lowest floor it will break at.
Question: A man lives in an apartment building on the 100th floor. He rides the elevator all the way down to floor 1 every morning then all the way up to floor 100 every evening. The elevator is coin-operated. It costs $0.25 per floor for floors 1-25, $0.50 per floor for floors 26-50, $0.75 per floor for floors 51-75, and $1.00 per floor for floors 75-100. How much money does the man spend each day riding the elevator?
Answer: The man spends $125 per day riding the elevator. It costs $62.50 each way.