GeekDad Puzzle of the Week: Alien Bling

Geek Culture


This week’s puzzle is about alien wheeler dealers. To be fair to all, please email your answers.
First accurate answer submitted by Thursday is the winner. Remember, there are no prizes greater that the admiration of your peers. Puzzle after the jump.

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Your intergalactic contact has arrived with his android enforcer to deliver the crates of alien tech you need to build your meta-wave wormhole generator. "I will deliver crates each cycle of your Earth day but I require currency at each time of delivery," he says. Your angel investors are not due to come through until seven days from now but you desperately need your parts to complete the generator or your investors will walk away.

You do have an old gold chain bracelet with seven links—the one that belonged to your grandmother who taught you all you know of sub-dimensional thermodynamics. It has extreme sentimental value. Thinking fast, you tell your contact, "I cannot give you the currency until seven Earth days. But here is a human adornment that is made of an Earth metal far more precious than any other anywhere in your star system. Each link of the chain is easily as valuable as the currency you require. You may hold this as collateral until your currency is here."

"Excellent. I will take the adornment."

"No," you say. "I will give you only a piece of the adornment that is the equivalent value of what is delivered. Today I will give you one link, tomorrow two links, the next day three, and so on until the last day when you may have all seven. At this time, I will have your total currency and you will return my bracelet."

Your contact agrees and the deal is struck but you must now cut the chain. You want to make as little damage as possible to your heirloom.
What is the fewest number of cuts you can make so your alien contact can hold the collateral he needs but no more?

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