Friday, December 31, 2010

PUZZLE: The New Year's Eve Suppers

Let's finish up the year with one of Henry Dudeney's classic puzzles.

"The proprietor of a small London café has given me some interesting figures. He says that the ladies who come alone to his place for refreshment spend each on an average eighteenpence, that the unaccompanied men spend half a crown each, and that when a gentleman brings in a lady he spends half a guinea. On New Year's Eve he supplied suppers to twenty-five persons, and took five pounds in all. Now, assuming his averages to have held good in every case, how was his company made up on that occasion? Of course, only single gentlemen, single ladies, and pairs (a lady and gentleman) can be supposed to have been present, as we are not considering larger parties."


Will Duquette said...

Is this before or after decimalisation?

Thomas L. McDonald said...

The book was published in 1917, and I don't think decimalization happened until the 60s or 70s, although I'm not certain of that.

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