Thursday, April 26, 2007

A brilliant solution to a poser

Life is full of problems; some are expected; some are unforeseen. Problems tend to become bigger and may lead to other problems if they are not solved early. Luckily most problems can be solved or settled amicably or at least minimized.

Once there was a man who left 17 horses for his three sons. The eldest was to get 1/2 of them; the second son, 1/3 and the third son, 1/9. None of horses was to be slaughtered. And they were not supposed to do that.

How are you going to solve this problem? Before you read on can you find a solution?

They were concurring as to what they should do and how best to share the horses when a mathematician happened to be there. Upon hearing their plight, the mathematician said, “Let me do the sharing for you. I have one horse which I shall add to the 17 horses so as to enable the sharing to be carried out efficiently.”

Thus with 18 horses, half of them means 9; one-third means 6 and 1/9 means 2. 9+6+2=17. After the sharing, the mathematician walked away with his own horse. The three sons were amazed, happy, and satisfied as well, with the solution.

Where is the catch or trick? Can you figure it out?

Well folks, if you have a problem do not despair. Surely, there is a solution somewhere.