Answer to Puzzle #29: Ali and the 8 Loaves
There were two men having a
meal. The first man brought 5 loaves of bread, and the second brought
third man, Ali, came and joined them. They together ate the whole 8
he left Ali gave the men 8 coins as a thank you. The first man said
would take 5 of the coins and give his partner 3, but the second man
and asked for the half of the sum (i.e. 4 coins) as an equal division.
first one refused.
They went to Ali and asked
for the fair solution. Ali told the second man, "I think it is better
you to accept your partner's offer." But the man refused and asked for
justice. So Ali said, "then I say that who offered 5 loaves takes 7
and who offered 3 loaves takes 1 coin."
you explain why this was
was sent to me by Tawfik Aswad who tells me it was asked of
Ali-Ibn-Abi-Talib the fourth caliph of early Islam (600-661 AD.) I've
rated this one green as the solution came reasonably
quickly after i started thinking...
Before reading the answer can I interest you in a clue?
problem is why would 1 coin to 7 be fair when they gave 5 and 3
at it that way misses something. the men may have actually given 5 and
3 loaves but they will also have eaten something too.
could reasonably think that the 3 men would have shared the loaves
equally eating 2 ⅔ loaves each. Meaning that the actual contributions
of the ment was less:
#1: 5 - 2 ⅔ = 2 ⅓
#2: 3 - 2 ⅔ = ⅓
Now looking at their net
contributions, person #1 gave 2 ⅓
loaves, or looking at it in thirds they gave 7 thirds as
opposed to person #2 who gave just 1 third.
I like the way the maths works out
nicely with this puzzle.
© Nigel Coldwell 2013 - The questions on this site may be reproduced without further permission, I do not claim copyright over them. The answers are mine and may not be reproduced without my expressed prior consent. Please enquire using the link at the top of the page.