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"You'll have to give me half the cookies and also half a cookie," his mother told him, "and then you'll have to give Agnes half the remaining cookies and also half a cookie, and after that Jack will get half the balance and also half a cookie."

"Okay, Mom, but what do I get?" asked the boy.

"You know you don't like cookies," he was told, "but fix it so that there will be just one cookie left for yourself."

Note 1: What if there had been other members of the family...Carl, June, Carol...etc. 35 members strong....and all wanted the same "half the remaining cookies and also half a cookie"...could you solve it? (i.e. look for a pattern)

Note 2: What if the problem had involved giving "one-third the remaining cookies and also one-third a cookie," is it solveable?

Source: J. Hunter, Fun with Figures, Dover, 19??

Hint: Two useful problem solving strategies here are "guess-and-adjust" and/or "working backwards."

Solution Commentary: I hope you did not resort to the superpower of algebra in solving this problem. If you did, I hope you enjoyed the complex manipulations!