Dividing the jewel maker's diamonds -Riddle (Easy)

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  • Thread starter Andreas C
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In summary, Theseus, known for his greed, loses all his riches in unconventional games and ends up with only one precious diamond. When he meets Bedeer's sons, who are struggling to divide their father's 35 diamonds according to his will, Theseus offers his own diamond to add to the total. However, the fractions in the will do not add up to a whole number, leaving them with a dilemma. Theseus proposes a solution where he lends them his diamond and takes the extra diamond as interest, or they can round off the numbers and compare the results. This problem may seem silly, but it is similar to inheritance rules mentioned in the Quran and was inspired by them.
  • #1
Andreas C
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After the even greater success of the previous riddle (it didn't even receive a post, but it's known that the sequels aren't often as successful as the original), it's time to bother you yet again with the 3rd installment of the franchise, which will hope to do better than the 2nd one! How will it do it? By employing another Hollywood tactic- ripping off someone who made successful riddles! Yes, this one isn't original, it comes from Malba Tahan's (real name: Júlio César de Mello e Souza) book "The Man Who Counted", which is a great collection of math and logic puzzles. This one wasn't originally intended to be a puzzle, but I modified it a bit. Still, you have to know that the solution isn't exactly mathematically/logically rigorous, it's just very surprising and fun. Many thanks to micromass for inspiring this series!

The story
After beating the dice players in their own game (refer to "A whole bunch of dices"), and winning 2 chalices, lots of gold coins, and 1 precious diamond made by the kingdom's finest jewell maker and recently deceased Phidias Bedeer, Theseus lost his riches yet again, playing other, less conventional games. All that he's left with is the diamond he won. He decides to sell the diamond in the jewelry market for money. What he finds there is Bedeer's 3 notoriously naive sons arguing about their father's last will. Apparently, they and their lawyer can't figure out how to divide the 35 diamonds their father left them according to their father's last will. Theseus asks one of the sons to explain what the problem is.

The problem
According to Bedeer's last will (who was infamously bad at math), 1/2 of his 35 diamonds are to be given to the oldest one of his sons, 1/3 to the second oldest, and 1/9 to the youngest son. The problem is that neither 1/2, 1/3 and 1/9 of 35 are integer numbers, and they don't want to cut the precious diamonds in half or anything. After thinking about it, Theseus decides to give them his own diamond to add them to the 35.

The Question
Was Theseus (known for his greed) just in a good mood when he gifted that diamond, or did he have something in the back of his mind that would benefit him? What's the solution he will propose?

Alright, it's not much of a puzzle, but it's got a fun solution. Here it is for anyone who wants to see it:

Now with the added diamond, it's 36 diamonds that have to be divided instead. 1/2 of 36 is 18, 1/3 is 12, and 1/9 is 4. That makes us 18+12+4=34 diamonds, leaving 2 extra diamonds. That's fair. Theseus says that one of them belongs to him, since he gave it before, and the other one also belongs to him, as a reward for solving the puzzle. The naive sons of the jewell maker are thrilled by the solution, and they gladly give him the diamonds. It's only after they talk to their lawyer that they realize it's an illegitimate solution, and the imposter who took their 2 diamonds is arrested.
 
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  • #2
1/2 + 1/3 + 1/9 does not add up to 1 ... probably to 1/36th part less than 1. (Oh look, it's 2/36ths short)
That was Theseus can loan them his diamond, do the maths, divide the diamonds, and end up with the diamonds left over.
Then he claimes the extra diamond as his interest on the loan.

You can also compare Theseus' solution with how much each would end up with if they just agreed to round off the numbers.

This sort of problem seems silly until you read the inheritance rules in the Quran.
 
  • #3
Simon Bridge said:
1/2 + 1/3 + 1/9 does not add up to 1 ... probably to 1/36th part less than 1. (Oh look, it's 2/36ths short)
That was Theseus can loan them his diamond, do the maths, divide the diamonds, and end up with the diamonds left over.
Then he claimes the extra diamond as his interest on the loan.

You can also compare Theseus' solution with how much each would end up with if they just agreed to round off the numbers.

This sort of problem seems silly until you read the inheritance rules in the Quran.

Yeah, that's it. The book I took it from took place in Arabia, so it was probably inspired by those inheritance rules!
 

Related to Dividing the jewel maker's diamonds -Riddle (Easy)

1. How many diamonds did the jewel maker start with?

The jewel maker started with 81 diamonds.

2. How many diamonds did the first person take?

The first person took 27 diamonds, leaving 54 diamonds left.

3. How many diamonds did the second person take?

The second person took 9 diamonds, leaving 45 diamonds left.

4. How many diamonds did the third person take?

The third person took 9 diamonds, leaving 36 diamonds left.

5. How many diamonds were left for the last person?

The last person took 9 diamonds, leaving 27 diamonds for the last person.

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