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Math Help - Puranic puzzle

  1. #1
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    Puranic puzzle

    Once draupadi had an akshay patra(vessel)
    She thought for sweets. It came.
    she took a spoon and gave 5 spoons of sweets to bhima.
    remaining sweets in the vessel doubled.
    She gave 4 spoons to arjuna.
    remaining sweets in the vessel doubled.
    She gave 3 spoons to dharma
    remaining sweets in the vessel doubled.
    She gave 2 spoons to nakula
    remaining sweets in the vessel doubled.
    She gave 1 spoon to sakadeva
    remaining sweets in the vessel doubled.
    It was exactly equal to spoonful of sweets.
    Question is how many sweets were present initially?
    Each spoon contains how many sweets?
    please give the answer with the medthodology.
    Thanks
    knramesh AT gmail dot com
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  2. #2
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    Re: Puranic puzzle

    I can't get this to come to a whole number. Here is my attempt.
    Quote Originally Posted by knramesh View Post
    Once draupadi had an akshay patra(vessel)
    She thought for sweets. It came.
    Call the number of spoons of sweets "n"

    she took a spoon and gave 5 spoons of sweets to bhima.
    Okay, so now we have n- 5 spoons left.

    remaining sweets in the vessel doubled.
    Shazam! It magically changes to 2(n- 5)= 2n- 10!

    She gave 4 spoons to arjuna.
    (2n- 10)- 4= 2n- 14

    remaining sweets in the vessel doubled.
    2(2n- 14)= 4n- 28

    She gave 3 spoons to dharma
    (4n- 28)- 3= 4n- 31

    remaining sweets in the vessel doubled.
    2(4n- 31)= 8n- 62

    She gave 2 spoons to nakula
    (8n- 62)- 2= 8n- 64

    remaining sweets in the vessel doubled.
    2(8n- 64)= 16n- 128

    She gave 1 spoon to sakadeva
    (16n- 128)- 1= 16n- 129

    remaining sweets in the vessel doubled.
    2(16n- 129) = 32n- 254

    It was exactly equal to spoonful of sweets.
    So 32n- 254= 1? If so then 32n= 255 but 255 is not a multiple of 32. At best, n= 7.96875. If it had been "2 spoonfuls of sweets", n would be 8.

    Question is how many sweets were present initially?
    Each spoon contains how many sweets?
    please give the answer with the medthodology.
    Thanks
    knramesh AT gmail dot com
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  3. #3
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    Re: Puranic puzzle

    Quote Originally Posted by HallsofIvy View Post
    I can't get this to come to a whole number.
    I suppose she didn't need to have thunk a whole number of spoonfuls into existence. But a spoonful presumably is a whole number of sweets. And maybe the fact that that number would need to be a multiple of 32 is half an answer to the second part of the question. But it looks like we can't give a whole number of answers!

    Btw we have a small typo - I'm making it 259/32, i.e. 8 whole spoons plus 3/32 of a spoon.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Puranic puzzle

    There isn't a typo. If we start with 259 sweets and 32 sweets fit onto a spoon, the sequence will be
    remove 5 spoons of sweets and double = 2(259-5*32)=198
    remove 4 spoons of sweets and double = 2(198-4*32)=140
    remove 3 spoons of sweets and double = 2(140-3*32)=88
    remove 2 spoons of sweets and double = 2(88 -2*32)= 48
    remove 1 spoon of sweets and double = 2(48 - 32) = 32
    and that's one spoonful.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Puranic puzzle

    Exactly.

    I was merely pointing out (unsuccessfully) a trivial arithmetic slip by H of I.
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