adam and billy, bibliophiles

(11 comments)
February 11, 2005

Brainteaser of the Moment
Two boys, Adam and Billy, go to a bookstore. Adam is 41 cents short of the price of a certain book. Billy is one cent short. They decide to combine their money to buy the book but they realize they still don't have enough. How much does the book cost?

Answer: (highlight with mouse to read -- but seriously, try to work this one out. Give it at least a half hour if the answer isn't obvious to you.)

41 cents, i.e. Adam has no money.

I got this last night after an embarrasingly long time of writing out simultaneous equations and not getting anywhere. And then I only got the answer by looking for obvious "gimmick" answers and seeing if one worked. And I realized last night that I probably didn't really get it because I was still thinking maybe there was a second answer. This morning I finally realized how to think about it properly...Bill is only ONE CENT shy of the price of the book...add ANY positive integer value to that, and he should have enough...so there's no other amount other than zero for Adam's money.
Let me know if you get it or not!

Poem of the Moment
You want a social life, with friends.
A passionate love life and as well
To work hard every day. What's true
Is of these three you may have two
And two can pay you dividends
But never may have three.

There isn't time enough, my friends--
Though dawn begins, yet midnight ends--
To find the time to have love, work, and friends.
Michelangelo had feeling
For Vittoria and the Ceiling
But did he go to parties at day's end?

Homer nightly went to banquets
Wrote all day but had no lockets
Bright with pictures of his Girl.
I know one who loves and parties
And has done so since his thirties
But writes hardly anything at all.

--Kenneth Koch. Grabbed from this page which also has a great play on that old William Carlos Williams poem. (via Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life)

Passing of the Moment
Death of a Playwright. (But hey...at least he got to do Marilyn Monroe...)