June 11, 2019

This is the solution to the puzzler I posted yesterday. If you haven’t yet seen yesterday’s blog post, point your browser here.

The solution to the conundrum requires that we understand that this isn’t so much a mathematical puzzle as a logical one. And, like a good magic trick, it dupes people into accepting something that isn’t true.

It is true that each salesman has paid $9 toward their room — in other words, that they have paid $27 in total. This $27, however, *includes* the $2 that the bellboy has pocketed, so there is no extra $2 to add to the $27 to make $29. The $30 is a red herring; this is what the salesman originally paid, but it is out of the equation once the $3 has been paid back to them.

In short:

– Salesmen pay $30 per room. Hotel has $30.

– Manager gives bellboy $5 out of the $30. Hotel has $25, bellboy has $5.

– Bellboy returns $3 to salesmen. Hotel has $25, Bellboy has $2. Salesmen have the other $3.

– Salesmen have paid $27 in total. Hotel has $25, bellboy has $2.

You don’t get this sort of stuff from just *any* blog….