Chickens and Eggs

Jan 28, 2017

RAY: A chicken and a half can lay an egg and a half in a day and a half. 

TOM: I want to see that half egg!

RAY: I want to see that half chicken! The question is very simple: How long will it take two chickens to lay thirty-two eggs?
 

Answer: 

RAY: I'm going to tell you how to think about this kind of problem, so you'll never get stymied again. If a chicken and a half can lay an egg and a half in a day and a half, let's double the number of chickens, to three chickens. Because one and a half chickens laid one and a half eggs, three chickens laid three eggs in how long?

TOM: In a day and a half.

RAY: Exactly. So if we have three chickens laying three eggs in a day and a half, then clearly one chicken lays one egg in a day and a half.

How about two chickens, what do they do? Two chickens lay two eggs. And two chickens will lay four eggs in three days. So, if two chickens can lay four eggs in three days, then two chickens can lay 32 eggs in 24 days.

TOM: I think most people are mystified by problems like this.

RAY: Well, I'm glad that for once I was able to demystify. Do we have a winner?

TOM: The winner this week is Nancy Dorsey from Arlington Heights, Illinois. Congratulations!


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