Puzzle | Minimum time required to make N Pancakes

**Puzzle:** You have to make **N (≥ 1)** pancakes using a skillet that can hold only two pancakes at a time. Each pancake has to be fried on both sides. Frying one side of a pancake takes one minute, regardless of whether one or two pancakes are fried at the same time. **What is the minimum amount of time required to fry the pancakes?**

**Solution:** Let’s try to solve this problem case-wise:

**If N = 1:**This is a trivial case, where time to fry the pancakes is 2 minutes, as both sides need to be fried.**If N is even:**The time, in this case, is**N minutes.**Since two cakes can be fried at one time,**N/2 minutes**are needed to fry the cakes on one side. Hence, the total time taken to fry the cakes on both sides is**N minutes.****If N is odd:**This case is a bit tricky. Let’s consider when the value of**N = 3**. We can fry 3 cakes in 3 minutes, as follows.- Firstly, fry pancakes 1 and 2 on one side.
- Then fry pancake 1 on the second side together with pancake 3 on the first side.
- Finally, fry the pancakes 2 and 3 on the second side together.

**If N is odd and greater than 3**: We can first fry the 3 pancakes in 3 minutes and then the remaining (N – 3) pancakes, which is even, in (N – 3) minutes.