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This is an old puzzle that I think was first published in the early 1900’s.

An eccentric old woman, who ran a poultry farm outside of Baton Rouge, took her eggs to market one day. She always had a unique way of doing business and was a true lover of riddles. She was overheard talking with her friends about how she had dispensed the eggs. She sold half of her eggs to a customer and gave half an egg over. She then sold a third of the remaining eggs and gave a third of an egg over. To the next customer she sold a fourth of the remainder and gave a fourth of an egg over. The last customer was sold a fifth of the remaining eggs and was given an additional fifth of an egg. What was left after that she distributed evenly to thirteen of her friends.

What was the least amount of eggs that she could have taken to market?

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Posted · Report post

I forgot to mention that throughout she never broke an egg.

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Posted · Report post

I forgot to mention that throughout she never broke an egg.

never broke an egg at market? Or never broke an egg ever?

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Posted · Report post

never broke an egg at market? Or never broke an egg ever?

Throughout this exercise only whole eggs were dispensed.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

719 eggs

and they were distributed

the first customer bought 359 1/2 eggs (and got 1/2 free)

the second customer bought 119 2/3 eggs (and got 1/3 free)

the third customer bought 59 3/4 eggs (and got 1/4 free)

the fourth customer bought 35 4/5 eggs (and got 1/5 free)

and the remaining 143 eggs were distributed among her 13 friends at 11 eggs per firend!

Edited by Cherry Lane
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Posted (edited) · Report post

Does the last purchaser purchase

197? That is 196 + 1... am I on the right track?

Edited by AAAsn888s
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Posted · Report post

and they were distributed

the first customer bought 359 1/2 eggs (and got 1/2 free)

the second customer bought 119 2/3 eggs (and got 1/3 free)

the third customer bought 59 3/4 eggs (and got 1/4 free)

the fourth customer bought 35 4/5 eggs (and got 1/5 free)

and the remaining 143 eggs were distributed among her 13 friends at 11 eggs per firend!

719 eggs

Correct. Quick work as well. Good job.

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Posted · Report post

or would that be the second to last purchaser?

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Posted · Report post

oops - nevermind - we were posting at the same time...

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Posted · Report post

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Posted · Report post

hmm doubted

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Posted · Report post

Correct. Quick work as well. Good job.

Hey,

How did you arrive at that figure 719?

I got 9.5 :\$

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Posted · Report post

Hey,

How did you arrive at that figure 719?

I got 9.5 :\$

Are you saying that is the amount she started with?

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Posted · Report post

Hey,

How did you arrive at that figure 719?

I got 9.5 :\$

have 1/2 an egg? Since you can't, that must not be the answer. So you have to increase the # of eggs

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