Thursday, December 27, 2007

Futility Closet: Bread Alone

Bread Alone |Futility Closet
Andy and Bill are traveling when they meet Carl. Andy has 5 loaves of bread and Bill has 3; Carl has none and asks to share theirs, promising to pay them 8 gold pieces when they reach the next town.

They agree and divide the bread equally among them. When they reach the next town, Carl offers 5 gold pieces to Andy and 3 to Bill.

'Excuse me,' says Andy. 'That's not equitable.' He proposes another arrangement, which, on consideration, Bill and Carl agree is correct and fair.

How do they divide the 8 gold pieces? . . . 
This could be a great portfolio problem. I'll have to play with it to see.
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  1. I will triez dis again:

    Carl should takes da eight gold peeces & go to da local organic flour mill. Dere he & da other two boyz will purchase enough flour for 35 loavez of bread & den dey will bake dem in der oevfunz. When da bread iz done, da three will buy two bottlez of wine, & come oevfur to my New Yearz eve party & we shall have loavez of bread, wine and thou three beside me!!! & dat iz how it iz done.

  2. Ooh! I like this.

    But I wonder if we could reword it to make it more... um... so that kids would be motivated to work hard on it. As it is, I'm afraid some kids would say 5-3, sounds fair, can we close our books now?

  3. Jonathan: I am still so disenchanted with my students, that yeah, they would do that. Then I would do my little evil eye thing, and away we go. I think I need to sleep more before I go back to school. Motivate myself somehow. I think Dr. Tweety's wine solution is the best. Wish I drank.

  4. I like this puzzle too. Thanks for posting it, Andrée. Along the lines of what Jonathan suggests, we might just add the question, "Why didn't Andy think the original offer was fair?" before asking what they think the final agreed upon distribution was.


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