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Friday, 4 October 2013

Just for fun... a cunundrum over baked beans.

A friend came up with a proper mathematical question recently that sounded just like one of those awful brain teasers that you used to be given in maths lessons at school and which I happily admit I hadn't ever got a clue how to answer. To be brutally honest even when some smug bastard had furnished me with the blisteringly correct answer I still desperately struggled to fathom out how anyone could logically (or even illogically) work it all out. It always seemed to be the case of - too much information!  So, on the back of this I made up this nonsense equation. Enjoy. It's just for fun.

"A lorry is loaded with six tons of cans of baked beans and each baked bean weighs between 2.5 and 3 grams. Ninety-nine point seven of the baked beans are in tomato sauce and therefore 4% heavier. The lorry, which departs York, drives two hundred and five miles from two-thirty a.m on a Saturday morning and encounters traffic problems at Calais. The French are one hour ahead on the twenty-four hour clock. However their clock is 3.567 minutes late on this particular Samedi in the French calendar 2013. The French customs refuse to admit the load of baked beans and impound 47.2345% of the total load. How many baked beans arrive safely in Switzerland and then open a Swiss bank account and what is the total weight of the remaining baked beans and how much toast would be needed to turn the beans into decent meals for three hundred and sixty and a half ravenously hungry Swiss bankers called Heinz by the time it is Wednesday? Answers on a postcard please? No cheating and open your papers NOW!'


Christopher Frost said...

I always thought beans make five

Karen said...

As I was the sort of saddo who really loved maths at school, & especially enjoyed this type of problem, if I have a spare 1/2 hour, i might try to solve it! Even if you made it up Phil, it should give some sort of answer eventually.
I really should get out like a Social Hermit gives me far too much time on my hands :-)

Karen said...

And the answer is......42!!!

Dean said...

If you shared the beans out fairly equally you would have approx 20.9 tins or 3,165,930g for each of the hungry bankers, around 1442 slices of toast with two tins of beans each would give them a fairly substantial meal of four slices each (little Heinz would have two of course) with plenty of beans left over for another day, Beans of course can not open swiss bank accounts as they invest all their money in wind futures.
Of course I could just be full of hot air and making this up..

philip lowe said...

Karen you were soooo close saying the answer is 42 but Dean has won with his remarkably concise answer of 3,16.930g of beans for each banker. Dean, I am very impressed and ja, kleiner Heinz would indeed have two. Wind futures are the way ahead.

Well done all for trying to work out this complex equation and Christopher - see me after class.