Ok, I think I got what you were thinking now.

Mix 40 bottles of wine into 1 glass, so each of the 25 visiting servants are trying 40 different bottles. Since there is no sharing a bottle between servants, at most one of them will die. Also, since the poisoned bottle is guaranteed to be used in one of those glasses, there will be eactly one dead servant. Knowing which servant died, we will know it was one of those 40 bottles. (That's 1000 bottles / 25 servants = 40 bottles per servant). Now, the king has 1000-40 bottles to choose from for his weekend drinking. No problems there.

Now, he has 5 guests, the prisoner, and 40 bottles to test. Divide the 40 bottles among 5 glasses, with 8 bottles in each. One person will die. It's now down the 8 bottles. If the 3 people are sent home, we only have 2 test subjects left for 8 bottles, se we'd be kinds screwed here since we could end up with 1 of 2 bottles with a 50% chance provided we had 6 days left. Ok, so a more even division seems to be required somewhere.

If the 40 bottles are divided among the 6 servants, with 6 bottles each, and 4 bottles left over, then we'd either have it be one of 6 bottles with 1 dead servant, and 2 testers left, or 3 testers left and 4 bottles. The 3 testers left with 4 bottles case is easy, you'd need to kill at most 2 to figure it out and can be done in 1 round of tasting. (Use that binary method). If 6 bottles are left for 2 tasters in 6 days, then give 2 bottles to each of the two tasters. If one of them dies, it's one of two bottles, and you have 1 taster left and 3 days to determine which one is poisoned. If they both live, you have 2 bottles left and two tasters. You only need to have one person taste one bottle to be sure and 3 days left. In all cases, you know what bottles is poisoned by saturday. (Tasting is on Friday, Monday, and Wednesday, finishing at Saturday when the queen "tastes" the wine).

And of course, you can just excute anyone left over that you don't want around to tell the story. :whistle: