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Homework Help: I can't believe this is a homework problem

  1. Jun 24, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Three people register for a room; the desk clerk charges them $30. The manager returns and says this was on overcharge, instructing the clerk to return $5. The clerk takes five $1 bills, but pockets $2 as a tip and returns only $1 to each guest. Of the original $30 payment, each guest actually paid $9, and $2 went to the attendant. What happened to the "missing" dollar?

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    Is it something with the wording?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2010 #2
    "Of the original $30 payment, each guest actually paid $9, and $2 went to the attendant."

    This statement is wrong. The actual payment the three guests made is 30 - 1*3 = 27 dollars, of which $25 goes to the hotel and $2 goes to the clerk. No bill vanished :biggrin:

    Edit: To edit the above statement:
    "Of the original $30 payment, each guest actually paid $9, and $3 went back to the guests."
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  4. Jun 24, 2010 #3
    It's an old and I suppose classic question which is worded in a way designed to confuse.The scenario I am most familiar with relates to three diners in a restaurant.
  5. Jun 24, 2010 #4


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    This is a very old riddle. There is nothing wrong with the wording.
  6. Jun 24, 2010 #5
    Huh? Where does the 30 come into play here? The problem specifically says that a $30 payment took place!

    [PLAIN]http://icanhascheezburger.wordpress.com/files/2007/08/skeptical-cat-is-fraught-with-skepticism.jpg [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Jun 24, 2010 #6
    Is the attendant paid separately from the clerk?
  8. Jun 24, 2010 #7
    Explain this to me as if I were a 4-year-old.
  9. Jun 24, 2010 #8
    Sorry, misred it. So $2 goes to the attendant.
    Yes, the guests at first paid $30. But each was given back $1. It is the money they actually paid, i.e. $27, that went to both the attendant and the hotel eventually.
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