Monday, 27 June 2011

The impossible puzzle

I came across this puzzle whilst reading a book called 'Incomparable' by Andrew Wilson. It's a great book, I recommend it. I love doing puzzles; I like the feeling I get when I'm able to crack them. So, when I saw this one, I was only too pleased to give it a go. It turned out to be impossible. I tried and tried, I even put the book down and wrote it out according to my own understanding, but it didn't help. In the end, I came to a conclusion, which I think is the answer to the puzzle, but I don't know because Mr Wilson didn't really say. I didn't feel so great when I went to bed last night; it was the same kind of feeling I get when I attempt a Sudoku puzzle and can't finish it. One of failure. Oh well. Here's the puzzle, I'll write my opinions on it, and the whole point of it (in the book I was reading) in the next post. Obviously, please let me know your thoughts (and the answer if you think you know)!

'Three men go to a restaurant to have a meal, and after they have eaten, the waiter tells them their bill comes to $30. They each give $10 to the waiter. As he goes off to get their receipt, he notices that he has overcharged them; the bill actually only comes to $25. So, he takes out five $1 notes, but being a dishonest person, decides to keep $2 for himself. He gives the men $1 each, so they end up paying $27 between them. But, $27 + $2 gives $29, not $30, so where did the remaining $1 go?'

Have fun!

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