Captain Brownbeard’s hourglasses


Brownbeards hour glasses

Captain Brownbeard of the pirateship “The northern star” told his first officer: “Tonight I want to sleep for 7 hours. Wake me exactly 7 hours after I leave the bridge.”

The unfortunate first officer knew that captain Brownbeard had only 1 punishment: eat so many chocolates that you never can stand the sight of chocolate again. He didnt want to suffer such a dreadful fate. To make things worse, he had only two hourglasses, one of 5 hours and one of 3 hours. How can he measure exactly 7 hours? Does he need to make any preparations in advance, and if so, which?

This puzzle is based on a puzzle with hourglasses of 4 and 7 hours which I found in both “More games for the superintelligent,” by James F. Fix and in “Denkspielereien” by Tom Werneck. The same problem can be found on numerous places on the web, with hourglasses of 7 and 11 minutes. This raises of course the question who invented this puzzle, and when?
Oh, by the way, the times used in this puzzle introduce a slight variation.

You can check your solution

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