A QUEER COINCIDENCE.solution

Puzzles of this class are generally solved in the old books by the tedious process of "working backwards." But a simple general solution is as follows: If there are n players, the amount held by every player at the end will be m(2n), the last winner must have held m(n+1) at the start, the next m(2n+1), the next m(4n+1), the next m(8n+1), and so on to the first player, who must have held m(2n-1n+1).

Thus, in this case, n = 7, and the amount held by every player at the end was 27 farthings. Therefore m = 1, and G started with 8 farthings, F with 15, E with 29, D with 57, C with 113, B with 225, and A with 449 farthings.

 

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