Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Every one is familiar with the difficulties that frequently arise over the giving of change, and how the assistance of a third person with a few coins in his pocket will sometimes help us to set the matter right. Here is an example. An Englishman went into a shop in New York and bought goods at a cost of thirty-four cents. The only money he had was a dollar, a three-cent piece, and a two-cent piece. The tradesman had only a half-dollar and a quarter-dollar. But another customer happened to be present, and when asked to help produced two dimes, a five-cent piece, a two-cent piece, and a one-cent piece. How did the tradesman manage to give change? For the benefit of those readers who are not familiar with the American coinage, it is only necessary to say that a dollar is a hundred cents and a dime ten cents. A puzzle of this kind should rarely cause any difficulty if attacked in a proper manner.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Four brothers—named John, William, Charles, and Thomas—had each a money-box. The boxes were all given to them on the same day, and they at once put what money they had into them; only, as the boxes were not very large, they first changed the money into as few coins as possible. After they had done this, they told one another how much money they had saved, and it was found that if John had had 2s. more in his box than at present, if William had had 2s. less, if Charles had had twice as much, and if Thomas had had half as much, they would all have had exactly the same amount.
Now, when I add that all four boxes together contained 45s., and that there were only six coins in all in them, it becomes an entertaining puzzle to discover just what coins were in each box.