In a drawer, there are 8 blue socks, 6 green socks, and 12 black socks. What is the smallest number of socks that must be taken from the drawer without looking at the socks to be certain of having 2 socks of the same color.
At first glance this problem appears to be similar to the model problem discussed previously. However,there is a slight difference. In this case, we are looking for a matching pair of socks of any color. We now apply extreme case reasoning, similar to that which we used previously. The worst case scenario has us picking 1 blue sock, and 1 black sock in our first three picks. Thus, the fourth sock must provide us with a matching pair, regardless of what color it is. The smallest number of socks to gurantee a matching pair is 4.