I finally borrowed a copy of William Poundstone’s How Would You Move Mount Fuji from the library the other day and I was doing my little research on logical thinking puzzles and such when I stumbled upon the game of Petals Around the Rose. It is interesting how this puzzle is related to Bill Gates in his young, start-up days and that Bill have eventually gone on to make use of puzzles to decide whether to hire a person as described in Poundstone’s book.
The three little ‘rules’ is that the name of the game is ‘Petals Around the Rose’ (and this is significant), that the answer is always even, and that anyone who gets the logic of the game can only announce and answer and not try to verify his logic. Getting the answer 6 times in a row is a sign that one has become a Potentate of the Rose (the one who knows the solution).
The basics of the game as well as a computer programme to let you try figure out the answer to this little puzzle can be found here.
I initially wanted to work it out myself but then curiosity as to whether anyone would put up an answer online overwhelmed me and after I did a search, it appears that Wikipedia is indeed an amazing all purpose reference source. I shall not provide the link here lest you are like me. Try your best to figure out the answer!