Mrs. Covey, who keeps a little poultry farm in
Surrey, is one
of the most
eccentric women I ever met.
Her manner of doing business is always
original, and sometimes quite weird and wonderful.
She was once found
explaining to a few of her choice friends how she had disposed of her
She had evidently got the idea from an old puzzle with
we are all familiar; but as it is an improvement on it, I have no
hesitation in presenting it to my readers.
She related that she had
day taken a certain number of eggs to market.
She sold half of them to
one customer, and gave him half an egg over.
She next sold a third of
what she had left, and gave a third of an egg over.
She then sold a
fourth of the remainder, and gave a fourth of an egg over.
disposed of a fifth of the remainder, and gave a fifth of an egg
Then what she had left she divided equally among thirteen of her
And, strange to say, she had not throughout all these transactions
a single egg.
Now, the puzzle is to find the smallest possible number
eggs that Mrs. Covey could have taken to market.
Can you say how many?