Question Sam Loyd's Cyclopedia of Puzzles Answer
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Proposition—Dividing the chestnuts according to their ages, Nellie takes 3 as often as Mary takes 4, and to every 6 that Mary gets Susie takes 7. What is the age of each?

HERE IS AN INTERESTING age puzzle told about three little chestnut hunters who agreed to divide the spoils in proportion to their ages. It makes a pretty problem which will puzzle some folks who are pretty well up in mathematics, but these little girls had never bothered their heads about arithmetical problems; they did not even take the trouble to ascertain that they had gathered in all 770 chestnuts; they just proceeded to divide them up according to their ages, so, as often as Mary took four, Nellie took 3, and, to every six that Mary received, Susie took 7.

The problem is to tell just how many chestnuts each little girl got, and what were their respective ages. Their mothers could do the latter part of the problem, but it is a pretty safe guess to assume that their parents could not so readily figure out the other part of the problem which the little tots have solved mentally or practically without pencil or paper.

The correct answer is that Nellie, who was 4 1/2 years old got 198. Mary, who was 6 years of age, got 264, and Susie, who was 7 years old, took 308.

The analysis of the problem shows that as Susie gets 7 to Mary’s 6, and that Kellie gets but 3 to Mary's 4, she would get just 4 1/2 in each division of 4, 5, 6 and 7, which amounts to 17 1/2, so by dividing the 770 chestnuts by 17.5 we got 44 as the number to multiply the ages by to tell how many chestnuts each received. Mathematically speaking, the divisions anil proportions would be correct if we gave the ages as 9, 12 and 14, or any other of the multiples of 4.5 and 6 and 7 years, but as a glance at the picture would show that the ages would not correspond to the little girls as shown, those answers would not be correct, according to puzzle principles.


Behead something irritating and leave something soothing.

Cypher Ans. 20, 5, 1, 19, 9, 14, 7.



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Why is a sick eagle flying like a robbery? Because it’s an ill eagle (illegal) proceeding.

What beats a good wife? A bad husband.

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