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Riddle Of Saint Edmondsbury

Answer :

The reader is aware that there are prime numbers and composite whole numbers. 
Now, 1,111,111 cannot be a prime number, because if it were the only possible answers would be those proposed by Brother Benjamin and rejected by Father Peter. 
Also it cannot have more than two factors, or the answer would be indeterminate. 

As a matter of fact, 1,111,111 equals 239 x 4649 (both primes), and since each cat killed more mice than there were cats, the answer must be 239 cats.

Treated generally, this problem consists in finding the factors, if any, of numbers of the form (10n - 1)/9.




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