A man needs to send important documents to his friend across the country. He buys a suitcase to put the documents in, but he has a problem: the mail system in his country is very corrupt, and he knows that if he doesn't lock the suitcase, it will be opened by the post office and his documents will be stolen before they reach his friend. There are lock stores across the country that sell locks with keys. The only problem is that if he locks the suitcase, he has no way to send the key to his friend so that the friend will be able to open the lock: if he doesn't send the key, then the friend can't open the lock, and if he puts the key in the suitcase, then the friend won't be able to get to the key. The suitcase is designed so that any number of locks can be put on it, but the man figures that putting more than one lock on the suitcase will only compound the problem. After a few days, however, he figures out how to safely send the documents. He calls his friend who he's sending the documents to and explains the plan. What is the man's plan?
The plan is this: 1. The man will put a lock on the suitcase, keep the key, and send the suitcase to his friend. 2. The friend will then put his own lock on the suitcase as well, keep the key to that lock, and send the suitcase back to the man. 3. The man will use his key to remove his lock from the suitcase, and send it back to the friend. 4. The friend will remove his own lock from the suitcase and get to the documents.