# Answer this and then I'll tell you why I've asked it.

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kittenkat    pirate
27/01/2013 at 16:22

Queen Esmerelda had 20 gold coins. She put them in 4 piles:

• The first pile had 4 more coins than the 2nd
• The 2nd pile had one less coin than the 3rd
• The 4th pile had twice as many coins as the 2nd

How many gold coins did Esmerelda put in each pile?

27/01/2013 at 16:33

7 3 4 6

27/01/2013 at 16:47

Bit of a random puzzle?

kittenkat    pirate
27/01/2013 at 16:48

Thanks, that's my 8yr old's homework sorted! How bad is it that I can't do that logic stuff?

If you could also let me know how she can best approach those type of questions, I can be an even crapper parent, and I will buy you a beer

kittenkat    pirate
27/01/2013 at 16:50

'a more crap parent'? Could anyone help with the literacy too?

Not that I crap more than other parents (I don't think).

Edited: 27/01/2013 at 16:50
27/01/2013 at 16:52

7 3 4 6

kittenkat    pirate
27/01/2013 at 16:55

Ok, so 2 people have got the same answer, so I'm assuming it's right... But here's the next question, do any higher numbers solve the puzzle?

27/01/2013 at 16:58

A + B + C + D = 20

A = B+4

B = C-1 is the same as C= B+1

D = B+B

Replace A, C and D in the first giving

B+4 + B + B+1 + B + B is the same as 5B + 5 = 20 is the same as 5B=15 is the same as B=3

So A = B+ 4 = 7,B = 3, C=B+1=4,D = 2xB=6

Simples

27/01/2013 at 16:59

If the numbers were higher they wouldn't add up to 20!

27/01/2013 at 17:10

Are you going to pay us to supply you with the 11+ answers as well?

kittenkat    pirate
27/01/2013 at 17:15

Ha ha ha, I'm a fucking moron

(No I'm not but in walked into that one)

27/01/2013 at 17:32

who mentioned beer!!
As Old Colin set out - that was how I calculated it as well.

Not sure if an 8 year old is supposed to work it out that way though!!
I was nearly stumped by some questions my 6 year old g'daughter had recently  - it's all different to when I were a lad

kittenkat    pirate
27/01/2013 at 17:36
Torque Steer wrote (see)

who mentioned beer!!
As Old Colin set out - that was how I calculated it as well.

Not sure if an 8 year old is supposed to work it out that way though!!
I was nearly stumped by some questions my 6 year old g'daughter had recently  - it's all different to when I were a lad

Same here, but daddy is home now and talking her through it.

kittenkat    pirate
27/01/2013 at 17:38

I'm eavesdropping, "Daddy, that is very confusing!"

So if we don't know how they are taught to work it out, how can we help?

27/01/2013 at 17:46
B+(B+4)+(B+1)+2B=20
5B+5=20
B=3
therefore B+4=7, B=3, B+1=4,2 x B=6.
27/01/2013 at 18:03

I got it right but didn't bother to dredge up my algebra skills (which I'm fairly sure I didn't have when I was 8!). Try this instead:

Pile 1 has 4 more coins than pile 2, so it has to have at least 4 coins in it. That would make it 4+0+1... oops, can't have 2x0, so that's not the answer and doesn't use all the coins anyway.

Try again with 5 coins in pile 1. 5+1+2+2 works okay except they don't add up to 20.

(By this point she'll probably be happy enough to skip stage 3..., but obvs it's 6+2+3+4=15)

Then try it with 7 coins in pile 1 and it works AND adds up to 20, so you can stop.

27/01/2013 at 18:04

And to think I nearly did A-level further maths. It'd probably take me all day to do one question using the 'try everything till it works' method!

27/01/2013 at 18:58
Try everything is the approach my garage uses when they try to fix my car.
27/01/2013 at 19:14
literatin wrote (see)

And to think I nearly did A-level further maths. It'd probably take me all day to do one question using the 'try everything till it works' method!

I did do further maths (for the life of me I have no idea why now) and most of the things they taught you are pretty much try it until it works

For 20 try it until it works is as good, I started at A=6 as B was 4 less and aimimg at 20.

The daily mail mindbender 1st question is always good practice for those sort of questions, rubbish for news great for puzzles.

27/01/2013 at 19:59

I did (started) normal A-level maths, in a pointless attempt to be different from my sister (who did English literature). At the same time as the maths class, all my friends had English and were clearly having way more fun. The job I have now mainly involves literary criticism and no maths at all. Grr.

Having said that, though, this is kind of fun. Kittenkat, does your daughter have any more homework?

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