The grocer was delayed half a minute and the
draper eight minutes and a half (seventeen times as long as the
grocer), making together nine minutes.
Now, the grocer took twenty-four
minutes to weigh out the sugar, and, with the half-minute delay, spent
24 min. 30 sec. over the task; but the draper had only to make forty-seven
cuts to divide the roll of cloth, containing forty-eight yards, into
This took him 15 min. 40 sec., and when we add the eight
minutes and a half delay we get 24 min. 10 sec., from which it is clear
that the draper won the race by twenty seconds.
The majority of solvers
make forty-eight cuts to divide the roll into forty-eight pieces!