Brain Exercises – September 28

Nature’s Accountants – Some people find it easier to deal with numbers when they represent amounts in cash.  See if you are one of Nature’s accountants.

  1. Double or nothing – A gambler, believing in the principle of “easy come, easy go” doubles his money and gives away $1; he then triples his money and gives away $2.

“You shouldn’t have thrown your money away,” his friend admonished him

“ And why not?” he retorted.  “ I still have four times what I started with.”

  So just how much did he start with?

  1. Retail therapy – A shopper bought a single item at each of three successive stands in the local mall. Each time she spent 2/3 of what she had, but at the end she still had 50 cents left for her bus  fare home.  How much had she started off with?

  2. Heavy Load – A farmer had to weigh four sacks of grain. The weighing machine wasn’t very accurate for low weights so he weighed the four sacks in every combination of two, getting reading (in pounds) of

22   25   31   31   37   40

What are the weights of the individual sacks?

  1. Cambio – In the land of Valuta there are 100 plinks to the plonk.  The smallest unit of currency is the plink.  The exchange rate is exactly 7 plinks to $3.  What sum of money — $  in dollars and cents – may be converted to plinks and plonks by merely reversing the order of the digits ( I.e., s planks and ba plonks)?

  2. Three items or less – Emma bought three items in the supermarket. When she got to the checkout, the clerk rang up the prices.  However, he somehow managed to multiply the three numbers together instead of adding them.  Fortunately, the result was just the same: $90.09.  How much did each item cost?

Who was Who?

The names below might not instantly ring a bell because all of these people became famous under a different name.  See how many future stars you can spot.

  1. Richard Starkey

  2. Robert Zimmerman

  3. William Claude Dukenfield

  4. Archibald Alexander Leach

  5. Roy Scherer

  6. Bernard Schwarz

  7. Frederick Austerlitz

  8. Dini Crocetti

  9. Annie Marie Bullock

  10. Julia Elizabeth Wells


  1. $2.50. Suppose he starts off with $x. Doubling it gives him $2x.  Giving away $1 leaves $2x-1.  Tripling gives $6x-3 . Giving away $2 leaves $6x-5.  If this equals $4x, then $6x-5 = $4x, so that $2x=5. So x = $2.50.

  2. $13.50 After each transaction, the shopper is left with a third of what she had before it.  So what she had before a transaction if three times what she had after it.  Working backwards, she must have started out with  3 x3 x3 x 50 cents= 27 x 50 cents = $13.50

  3. The sacks weigh 8,14, 17 and 23 pounds.

  4. $32.67, which gives 76 plonks and 23 plinks.

  5. $13,$77, 9 cents

Who was Who?

  1. Ringo Starr

  2. Bob Dylan

  3. C. Fields

  4. Cary Grant

  5. Rock Hudson

  6. Tony Curtis

  7. Fred Astaire

  8. Dean Martin

  9. Tina Turner

  10. Julie Andrews