GeekDad Puzzle of the Week – Roundtable Elimination

Geek Culture

Twelve people sit at a table in a conference room, knowing that eleven of them will be let go by the end of the meeting. Our hero, who would like to stay gainfully employed, knows that the CEO will soon enter the room. At that time, starting with the person closest to the door (in the “12 o’clock” position of the table), the CEO will start circling the table, stating:

“Eeny meeny miney moe.
Catch an employee by the toe.
If he flinches, let him go.
Eeny meeny miney MOE.”

Each verse of the macabre rhyme takes four beats, and on each beat, the CEO passes one person in a chair. Assume for purposes of this puzzle that he is dextrous enough to circle the table in such a way that he moves through four people each verse, completely independent of where they are sitting. Also note that he always moves in a clockwise manner.

Upon completing the rhyme, the CEO then presents a pink slip to the person in the occupied chair at which he stopped. Identifying the first person to be let go is straightforward. However, picking the seat that will get to stay after the other 11 are eliminated is not as simple!

To have a chance at winning this week’s $50 ThinkGeek Gift Certificate, submit where you think our hero should sit during this meeting if he wishes to be the last employee standing at its end. For an additional chance at the prize, also submit where he should sit in two similar meetings later in the day, but in conference rooms with tables that seat 8 people and 16 people. Feel free to include any inferences you may have about table size or where to sit with respect the size of the table vs. the count of the rhyme.

As always, send your prognostications to GeekDad Central to be entered into our random drawing of all correct responses. Good luck!

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