Home > Golden Oldie of the Week Archive Detail

<< Prev 5/1/2011 Next >>

The Great Balsam Theft

Three men robbed a gentleman of a vase containing twenty-four ounces of balsam. While running away they met in a wood with a glass seller, of who in a great hurry they purchased three vessels. On reaching a place of safety they wish to divide the booty, but find that their vessels hold 5, 11, and 13 ounces respectively. How can they divide the balsam into equal portions?

Solution:

Source: “Historical Mathematical Puzzlers,” New York Times>/i>, December 13, 1903