please solve this mensa teaser which was first published in the Daily Express

Carol Murawski
Carol Murawski used Ask the Experts™
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A restaurant is already taking bookings for Christmas parties.  There are 100 pre-orders for Pork Belly, 600 for Duck Breast, 152 for Halibut Fillet and 66 for Ox Liver. How many pre-orders are there for Caviar?
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Chris JonesSenior Systems Administrator

Commented:
I'm usually pretty good at these, but this one has lost me, however, that being said, you may want to consider some of the following methods to attempt to gain an answer (it will be a lengthy process unless you're lucky).

Method 1
Think about how the letters of the words may correspond to a numeric value, this may even be to do with where they are in the ASCII table for example. Capital letters may hold a different value to lowercase.

Method 2
Think about the types of dish they are.. do they hold different values (higher/lower) based on their type meat/fish etc.

Method 3
Shapes. Are there perhaps 100 lines in the letters. Or 100 holes for example "o" and "e" have holes, where as "l", "i" and "y" do not.

I've found reference to this question on google with the answer 106 but without an explanation, so it should be treated as a very unreliable source.

Again I have no final authoritative answer for you but am suggesting a few directions you could take with it.

It's also worth saying "try thinking simply rather than too hard" at times we miss the most obvious.

Good luck! Let us know your findings!
Scott CSenior Engineer

Commented:
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/uk.rec.competitions/Zl4SQf6eeZ0

This is the solution I found here...ANSWER :  106

Agreed with above...not sure how the answer was arrived at.
Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information Systems

Commented:
106 (without looking at the link above)
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Chris JonesSenior Systems Administrator

Commented:
@Paul, it would be very useful if you could break down how you did this. Certainly you have now piqued my interest (and I'm sure the interest of the others)!
Director, Information Systems
Commented:
"There are 100 pre-orders for Pork Belly,...:  L + L = 50 +50 = 100
"...600 for Duck Breast,..."  D + C = 500 + 100 = 600
"...152 for Halibut Fillet..." L + I + I + L + L = 50 + 1 + 1 + 50 +  50 = 152
"...and 66 for Ox Liver."  X + L + I  + V = 10 + 50 + 1 +  5 = 66

"How many pre-orders are there for Caviar?" C + V + I = 100 + 5 + 1 = 106

Author

Commented:
Thanks for response - was struggling with that 🙂
Chris JonesSenior Systems Administrator

Commented:
Very good, I'm suitably impressed :)

Is this because they're all the roman numerals available in the text?

Either way, fair play! :) I wasn't nearly close enough with my suggestions! :)
Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information Systems

Commented:
@Carol - You're welcome, and thanks for the points.
@Chris - "Is this because they're all the roman numerals available in the text?" Yes.  It took me a minute to realize they weren't following the normal Roman Numeral rules, but once I did, the puzzle was straightforward.
Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information Systems

Commented:
Selected what I presume to be the solution.

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