"This happens to be, roughly, the same algorithm used in a binary search,"
Indeed this is binary search itself. This used to be a trick I played when I was a kid. I first ask other kids to have a number between 1 and 1024, don't tell me, just keep it to themselves. Then ask them whether they believe that I can guess their number by asking no more than 10 questions. Nobody believed me at the beginning, but ... ;-)
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