- #1

Andreas C

- 197

- 20

*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: