One day a scholar came to the court of Emperor Akbar and challenged Birbal to answer his questions and thus prove that he was as clever as people said he was.
He asked Birbal: "Would you prefer to answer a hundred easy questions or just a single difficult one?"
Both the emperor and Birbal had had a difficult day and were impatient to leave.
"Ask me one difficult question," said Birbal.
"Well, then tell me," said the man, "which came first into the world, the chicken or the egg?"
"The chicken," replied Birbal, very confidently.
"How do you know?" asked the scholar, a note of triumph in his voice.
What did Birbal answer to this?
Birbal told the scholar, "We had agreed you would ask only one question and you have already asked it" and he and the emperor walked away leaving the scholar gaping.
You have two sand hourglasses, one that measures exactly 4 minutes and one that measures exactly 7 minutes. You need to measure out exactly 2 minutes to boil an egg. Using only these two hourglasses, how can you measure out exactly 2 minutes to boil your egg?
Flip over both hourglasses at the same time.
1. After 4 minutes, the 4-minute hourglass will be done, and there will be 3 minutes left in the 7-minute hourglass. Immediately flip the 4-minute hourglass over again.
2. After 3 more minutes, the 7-minute hourglass will be done, and there will be exactly 1 minute left in the 4-minute hourglass. Immediately flip the 7-minute hourglass over again.
3. After 1 more minute, the 4-minute hourglass will be done again, and there will be exactly 6 minutes left in the 7-minute hourglass. Immediately flip over the 4-minute hourglass.
4. After 4 more minutes, the 4-minute hourglass will be done again, and there will be exactly 2 minutes left in the 7-minute hourglass. At this point, put your egg in the boiling water. When the 7-minute hourglass is done, it will have been exactly 2 more minutes, and your egg will have boiled just right.
Or after step 2 just flip 7-minute hourglass for second minute.