Four merry tramps
bought, borrowed, found, or in
obtained possession of a box of biscuits, which they agreed to divide
equally amongst themselves at breakfast next morning.
In the night,
the others were fast asleep under the greenwood
tree, one man approached
the box, devoured exactly a quarter of the number of biscuits, except
odd one left over, which he threw as a bribe to their dog.
Later in the
night a second man awoke and hit on the same idea, taking a quarter of
what remained and giving the odd biscuit to the dog.
The third and
men did precisely the same in turn, taking a quarter of what they found
and giving the odd biscuit to the dog.
In the morning they divided what
remained equally amongst them, and again gave the odd biscuit to the
Every man noticed the reduction in the contents of the box,
believing himself to be alone responsible, made no comments.
smallest possible number of biscuits that there could have been in the
box when they first acquired it?