Enigma 221: Moidores
11 September 2014
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From New Scientist #1367, 21st July 1983 [link]
I wonder if you could answer the following question from Hind’s Algebra, “designed for the use of students in the University”, published at Cambridge in 1839.
“In how many different ways may £100 be paid in crowns and moidores?”
Before answering you might ask —
A. Am I to include ways using only crowns or only moidores?
B. How many shillings is a moidore worth?
The answer to A, I can tell you, is “no”. The answer to the question is 14.
Now can you answer B? You will find you cannot be certain. But, assuming a moidore to be worth an exact number of shillings, what is the smallest and what is the greatest possible number of shillings in a moidore?
(Note to overseas and young readers: £1 = 4 crowns = 20 shillings).
Note: I am waiting for a phone line to be connected at my new house, so I only have sporadic access to the internet at the moment. The current estimate is that the line will be connected at the end of September 2014.