Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Math Puzzle

A man bought 3 horses and a saddle for a total of $220. The following statements are true.

  • The cost of the saddle and horse A equals the cost of horse B and horse C: (S+A=B+C)
  • The cost of the saddle and horse B equals the cost of horse A and horse C times 2: (S+B={A+C}x2)
  • The cost of the saddle and horse C equals the cost of horse A and horse B times 3: (S+C={A+B}x3)

With those statments being true, the question is this: How much did the saddle and each of the 3 horses cost?


  1. Does this actually have a real answer that can be deduced by math, or is it a trick question? So far the only thing I know for sure is this: Since S+A+B+C=220, and S+A=B+C, then S+A must equal 110 and B+C must also equal 110.

    I hate these things.

  2. Do you really think I would lay out a trick question on people here?

    I have a reputation to maintain.

    Yes, there is a bonafide answer to this. I actually gave this to my late father to work on (Mathematics/Computer Sciences professor) and he came up with an answer for it.

    I pulled this from a 19th century CT newspaper, back when I was working at the library. This is what passed for the 'Lighter side of life' articles in the 19th century.

    Factoid: I posted this on Topix in Spring '07. Someone actually got it right.

    C'mon Gumby, you can do this. I know you can. After all, you're a computer programmer.

  3. Computer programmer, computer schmogrammer. I suck at logic and math. Ironic isn't it? I always have totally confused my dad because he's a former state chess champ (amateur) and I barely know how the pieces move. He says basically what you said: "You're so logical, why can't you play a decent game of chess?" My brain isn't wired that way I guess.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

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So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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