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Old 2003-08-29, 21:17   #1
Fusion_power
 
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Default 17 horses couldn't drag me away!

So this rich man has 17 horses and 3 sons. In his will he leaves instructions that the 3 sons can't inherit a thin dime until they figure out how to divide up the horses according to his instructions. The instructions are:

Oldest son to have 1/2 of the horses.
Middle son to have 1/3 of the horses
Youngest son to have 1/9 of the horses.

Under no conditions are any of the horses to be killed, maimed, or otherwise traumatized, they are valuable animals.

How do they do it?

Fusion
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Old 2003-08-29, 21:41   #2
Uncwilly
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Ooh, I figured it out!!!!


The eldest son gets 9, which is 53% of the horses, meeting the 1/2 requirement.
The second son gets 6, which is 35% of the horses, meeting the 1/3 requirement.
The last son gets 2, which is 11.8% of the horses, meeting the 1/9 requirement.

9+6+2=17

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Old 2003-08-30, 00:51   #3
cheesehead
 
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Or (for the traditionalists):

After noting that 1/2 + 1/3 + 1/9 = 17/18, the sons conclude that their dear departed father had a "short" in his calculator.

So they persuade an onlooking llama to agree to be a "honorary supplemental horse" and temporarily join the 17 real horses, in return for an undisclosed remuneration. Then the sons distribute real horses in amounts of 1/2 of 18, 1/3 of 18, and 1/9 of 18, respectively, while respectfully leaving the "honorary supplemental horse" (who has all this while been trying his best to appear un-horselike, having forgotten that he's the only one of the 18 wearing a foam hat shaped like a wedge of Swiss cheese anyway) undistributed. The llama relinquishes his temporary title, breathes a sigh of relief, collects his remuneration, and retires to his accustomed halls of academe, vowing to be more careful in his future choices of spectating venue.
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Old 2003-08-30, 19:02   #4
Orgasmic Troll
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the oldest son gets 9 horses
the middle son gets 6 horses
the youngest son gets 2 horses and the first horse that is born from the older siblings' horses
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