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MATHS WEEK: See how you do with Tuesday's pirate puzzle

Can you figure this one out?

Image: Sony Pictures

MATHS WEEK IS well underway, with the country celebrating all the great things about algebra, trigonometry, probability and calculus.

Each morning, we’ve been setting you a puzzle to test your mathematical mettle. It’s all part of the drive to improve Ireland’s numeracy skills – and remember it’s never too late.

(If numbers absolutely terrify you, take a trip to the website where you’ll find more information and help).

Let’s get to Tuesday’s puzzle: 

Sharing has been, in one way or another, the basis of much of the world’s conflicts, whether big or small. Mathematics can be used to analyse sharing and also to develop ‘fair’ systems of sharing.

Captain Blackbeard was trying to calm his greedy crew. “Men,” he said. “We’ve a mighty fine haul today: a pretty little chest of doubloons.”

The men were straining and pushing to get at the coins.

We’ll divide them using our own pirate’s code. Those who died in the raid get nothing. The loot will be divided as follows: the most senior man will get 10 coins and one tenth of the remainder, the next man will get 9 coins and one-ninth of the remainder and so on down the line.

Thus they began with Blackbeard himself the first looked after. When the third man was paid the fourth declared, “There’s only 49 doubloons left to do us. That’s only seven each!”


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1. How many pirates are there?

2. How many coins were there to start with?

3. How much did the last pirate get?

Check back tomorrow, same time of 11.15am, for the answers and for Wednesday’s puzzle. 

Click here for the answer to Monday’s puzzle.

These handy tips will help develop your child’s maths skills (without them knowing it)>

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