Day 26: A Puzzle

Okay, this is a really simple puzzle but one that had me stumped for a while nonetheless. It was the husband who threw this bouncer my way in the evening yesterday. It didn’t sound too difficult, which is why I did not throw up my hands right away as I tend to do when faced with complicated numericals. I knew there had to be a catch somewhere–I only had to figure that out. So the husband was forbidden from disclosing the answer until I asked him to.

Well, the answer dawned on me a good couple of hours later. We were, by then, at a social gathering and the wheels in my brain had been whirring away even as I carried on a conversation with other guests. Suddenly I had my ‘eureka’ moment, excused myself, found the husband and confirmed the answer! Yes!

So here’s the puzzle:

Three friends went out to a restaurant and had coffee. The bill that arrived amounted to Rs. 75. After each of them had paid Rs. 25, the manager discovered that the bill amount actually should have been Rs. 70. He asked the waiter to return Rs. 5 to his customers. The waiter kept Rs. 2 for himself and returned Re 1 to each of them.

This means each person actually paid Rs. 24, and the total amount paid was 24*3=Rs. 72.

We also know that the waiter had pinched Rs. 2, so the total amount was Rs. 72+2=Rs. 74.

But the customers had paid Rs. 75 in all. The question is, where did the Re. one go???

Happy solving! I only hope you take about as much time coming up with the right answer as I did 🙂

This entry was posted in Blogathon January 2014 and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Day 26: A Puzzle

  1. I am no accountant.

    The fallacy is in trying to reach a figure of Rs 75, as the total value of the transaction which is not correct.

    The total that we must try to arrive at is 70 to the restaurant Plus 2 to the waiter i.e 72 only

    Net expenditure of each is the sum of
    70/3 = 23.333 paid to the restaurant.
    2/3 =0.667 paid to the waiter
    Total 24 each
    24×3 = 72
    You should not try to add up to 75, which is meaningless.

    To drive home the point, consider it another way.
    Suppose the waiter had pocketed the Rs 5 entirely.
    Would you now do the following accounting?
    Expenditure per head is 25
    25 x 3 = 75
    Plus 5 rupees is with the waiter.
    75 plus 5 = 80
    Where did the extra Rs 5 come from?

    Do you see the point now?

  2. simple girl says:

    The catch is in the line ‘We also know that the waiter had pinched Rs. 2, so the total amount was Rs. 72+2=Rs. 74.’ . The money pinched by the waiter is included in Rs 72(70 (bill) + 2 (money taken by waiter) ). So Rs 75 = 72 + 3(Re 1 returned to each customer).

  3. Right on, simple girl! The catch is in the statement of the problem. You’re lost as long as you have ‘Rs. 75’ in your head!

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