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Riddle: How many lumps?

Posted on 2003-03-06
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
Three men each had a cup of coffee.
Each man put an odd number of lumps of sugar in his coffee - twelve in total.
How many lumps of sugar did each man take?
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Question by:jpkemp
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25 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:kohashi
ID: 8086075
impossible.  odd+odd+odd=odd not even.
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Expert Comment

by:MacRae
ID: 8086087
One, one and ten.

Ten is a very odd number of lumps of sugar to put in your coffee.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:Cbracker
ID: 8086488
Or, using MacRae's literal thinking, each put 12 lumps in their coffee.
0
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:kohashi
ID: 8087875
impossible.  odd+odd+odd=odd not even.
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Expert Comment

by:kohashi
ID: 8087888
weird.  I think it reposted when i refreshed, sorry about that.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:thedevilinthebelfry
ID: 8087925
i agree with kohashi - unless they are using 1/2 lumps (or other fraction) no 3 odd numbers are going to produce 12 (or any other even number)
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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

by:
lyonst earned 80 total points
ID: 8088120
They took as many lumps of sugar as the liked - they could have taken 99 lumps of sugar. The question only states: Each man put an odd number of lumps of sugar in his coffee - twelve in total.

or Each man put an odd number of lumps of sugar in 'his' coffee.

Assuming that he put 1 lump in his own coffee (an odd number), they then proceeded to put the remaining 9 lumps of sugar in the other men's cups giving a total of 12.

T.
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Expert Comment

by:Scotty_D
ID: 8088278
If we say that each man puts an odd amount of sugar into HIS coffee, and any (integer) amount into those of the other two men's coffees, AND that this total = 12, then we get:

            Coffee
         A    B    C
Man A    1    2    1
    B    2    1    1
    C    2    1    1

So, we can say that A takes 5 sugars, B takes 4 and C takes 3.

However, it could also be:


            Coffee
         A    B    C
Man A    1    2    1
    B    1    1    2
    C    2    1    1

Giving A=4, B=4, C=4


(OR...)

You get the idea - there's no one solution to this riddle...
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Expert Comment

by:Scotty_D
ID: 8088283
Hasn't lined up too well, sorry
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:MusicMan
ID: 8088556
Each man could have taken three lumps of sugar and put them in (9), then realising there were three lumps left decided to have one more each (12).  So they only took an odd number, they just took it twice.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:HamdyHassan
ID: 8089115
put one lump in each of two cups and ten lumps in one cup.
It would be odd to put 10 lumps  in one cup.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:wiseguy_2112
ID: 8089218
Each man put 12 lumps in his cup, which is an odd number of lumps to put in coffee.
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:SunBow
ID: 8089557
:-)            [liking comments above]
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:thedevilinthebelfry
ID: 8089597
I want some coffee with my sugar plz

: )
0
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:rrhunt28
ID: 8089917
Maybe the 12 in total refers to how many cups of coffee, because it does not state it is talking about the sugar, in that case they could have put any number of odd combinations.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:eslsys
ID: 8090217
0,1,11 - is zero odd ?
0
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:thedevilinthebelfry
ID: 8090345
traditionally 0 is not odd - but who knows : )
0
 

Expert Comment

by:BobbyC
ID: 8091076
i have 2 answers.

a. each man put in 3 lumps of sugar in HIS coffee. realizing there are 3 extra lumps left, they put 1 lump each to somebody else's coffee.

OR

b. each man put in 4 lumps of sugar in his coffee. of course when the sugar is dumped to the coffee, they would form 1 big lump each on the bottom of the cup. so every ended up with 1 lump (which is odd number) of sugar.

 
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:eslsys
ID: 8091274
1) One guy put 7 lumps of sugar in his coffee, another guy 5 lumps and the third guy changed his mind and had tea
 
2) One guy put 7 lumps of sugar in his coffee, another guy 5 and the final guy had his unsweetened

3) After a heated debate about the ethics of drinking coffee when most coffee producers are subjected to minimum prices by global monopolies, the three guys said screw it and went to the bar !
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:kohashi
ID: 8092496
i vote choice number 3 :)
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:GPrentice00
ID: 8095752
HamdyHassan gave the word for word reply _I_ heard for this 'joke/riddle' way, way back in the before-time.  I think I was in grade 4 or 5...

1,1, 10=very odd indeed...

tis a joke people
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:kohashi
ID: 8096575
ha.

:P
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:ecims
ID: 8097701
MacRae is on the money.
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:jpkemp
ID: 8099780
Thanks everyone, it has been very entertaining.

Unfortunately I like two different answers the best:

1. 1, 1 and 10 (10 is an "odd number of lumps to put in coffee") - MacRae & others

2. Each man put 1 lump in HIS coffee, and distributed remaining lumps in the other mens' coffees - lyonst & Scotty_D & others

Now, I suspect that answer #1 is the traditional answer (based on GPrentice00's comment), but I don't personally think 10 lumps is that odd; I like answer #2 better (although, as Scotty_D pointed out, it does not have a single solution).

Thanks

Jeff
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:lyonst
ID: 8101598
Thanks jpkemp..
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