Machinedesign 1823 Gold Grief 0 0

Fun with Fundamentals: Problem 247

June 1, 2001
This puzzle may tax your brain, but don't lose your head over it

Problem 247: Gold grief
This puzzle may tax your brain, but don’t lose your head over it.

A team of ten burly “tax collectors” regularly accosts the villagers of Nerdingham demanding their lunch money. Such ruffian behavior is necessary to meet King Herbert’s quota of ten 12-oz bars of gold from every collector each month. Hence, not many collectors hold high morals, which proves to be a double-edged sword for the king. One tax man, it turns out, is skimming off the top. For three months in a row, ten bars turned in to Sir Wilbur Goldsworth, the king’s treasurer, have weighed only 11 ounces each. When the scoundrel collector attempts the trick the next month, however, he gets the guillotine.

Here’s how the king sniffs out the cheater. When Sir Wilbur gathers gold from the tax collectors in the fourth month, he does not take the usual ten bars from each. The treasurer places all the gold he does collect on the royal scales and reports the total weight to the king. Based on the weight, King Herbert immediately marks the guilty tax collector for beheading. How many bars in total does the treasurer collect the fourth month?

Fun with fundamentals: Problem 246

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