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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Three Men And A Hotel Bill Conundrum

I'm still not functioning fully in BlogLand - I am very busy at my daughter's house and consequently not much time is available for blogging.
(No I am not constipated, or cross - I am thinking . . . like Socrates LOL)

But I do have a little conundrum for you.  To make it a little more interesting I am adding a few characters which those 'in the know' will find amusing LOL.

Three men are travelling together, let us call them Mr X, Mr P and Mr B. Mr X is shrink and a miserable so and so.  He has no sense of humour whatsoever, being of German extraction. Mr B is a builder and has the nick name "Twinkle Toes" since he likes to trip the light fantastic whenever he can.  Mr P has a racy sports car and a very expensive camera.  They are all looking for the same very elusive lady who seems to have successfully given them all the slip, yet again.  It is very late and even though they can't stand the sight of each other they realise it is futile carrying on their search and so reluctantly they decide to stop for the night at the next hotel or motel they pass.  They find one a little way further on their travels and so they pull in and walk to reception.

The tight fisted German, Mr X, is delighted when they are told the room costs just $30 for the three of them and so they pay the desk clerk come bell boy, Eddie Bluelights, $10 each. (My word I get some interesting jobs don't I?).  Moths fly out of Mr X's wallet because he doesn't use it very often.

The manager is furious and poor Eddie gets a right rollicking because there is a special promotion running and the room should have cost only $25 for the night but dear Eddie forgot all about it.  Well, he is not perfect!!  "Give them $5 back immediately - here do it at once . . . or you are fired!" 

"Ok boss!" . . . . . All together . . . . . "Poor Eddie! how dare that bully bully him like that, we all love him! Leave him alone you monster!"

Eddie is furious because he realises he won't get a tip for all this so he figures out a little plan.  He reasons that because they paid in advance they would be happy if he paid back some money to each of the men and keep some as a tip for himself . . . because he also is a tight fisted so and so! LOL.  Realising they will never know the real deal, devious Eddie pockets $2 as a hidden tip and refunds each man $1.  Mr X's eyes light up as he is handed $1 and rapidly stuffs it into his bulging wallet. The other two men just say, "Thank you", and put their 1$ in the charity box.  They did not dream of saying to Eddie, "Keep it!" Rotten b's!

The chamber maid, a delightful lady with seemingly boundless energy and very long hair, notices Eddie's antics, winks at him and says, "Eddie, you are a naughty boy! - you are awful! . . . but I like you!  Hey man - these guys will go bananas if they see you have cheated them out of one third of the $2 you should have returned. I should report you really but won't do it if you can explain why the mathematics of all this does not add up.  Listen Eddie dear, because this whole thing does not make any sense to me! Lawd have mercy on my sanity LOL.  Hey buddy, since each of these men paid $10, and have now gotten $1 back they have each paid $9.  $3 times 9 is $27, plus $2 you have pocketed equals only $29 and not the $30 we started out with.  Where is the other $1?  Answer me that, Eddie - find me the answer if you can!"

"Easy peasy!", says Eddie.  "The answer to this puzzle is in the language used to pose the question.  In reality there is no missing $1.  3 x 9 is indeed 27 (a bit of your usual linguistic misdirection, me thinks), and I do indeed have $2, but adding them together has nothing to do with solving the problem, it just adds to the confusion, and makes the puzzler what it is.  Here is the real break down:

"The hotel has $25, Eddie has $2 and each of the men have $1.  So, 25 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 30, nothing is missing."

"Oh you are a clever boy . . . and you have passed the test . . . . but I think you should give me $1 so we have $1 each!"

"Oh alright, but you owe me a dance!"

"OK Bluelights! - you're on!"


  1. Eddie, you are a genius. I didn't follow this at all, but you obviously used your noggin. That's why we all love you.

    Hope all is well with you and that life is treating you and yours well. We had two HUGE oak trees fall in the yard and miss the house. I thank the Lord because it would have sheered off our porch. They were our neighbor's trees, and a tornado took them down. Last year I gave him two of our from a cyclonic wind. Weird. I can't get over it. But I'm sure the Lord knows the reason. I'm glad he set them down away from our house.


    Sheila :-)

  2. Hello dear Eddie,

    Interesting story, spooky and confusing but definitely with the perfect ending. Everyone is happy;)

  3. I barely recognized you with that scowl on your face! LOL!

    And your newly written profile is just delightful!


  4. My head hurts, I'm going to have to go and lie down! I do love it when I see a post has gone up from you. Glad all is well if somewhat busy. x

  5. Hi Eddie, I've missed you!
    What's with the cross face? Not like you!
    I came across this a while back, but enjoyed reading it again.
    And I haven't forgotten about that lovely award, just haven't had a minute to sort it in my head, will post on it during Easter hols dv.

  6. I'd watch out for German snipers..... if I were you!
    You DO look constipated!!!!!!!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  7. Love this, Eddie. I heard it years back (in a simpler form, and not nearly as entertaining) and it stumped my pre-teen self for hours. Thanks for the logical explanation and the fun.

  8. What a hilarious story! LOL Your keen sense of humor never ceases to amaze me! Loved the part where the elusive lady gave the three guys "the slip" and the moths were flying out of the wallet! LOL You are a riot! Cheers!

  9. Clearly: 10x + 27p = 20b

    So what's the problem?

  10. Clever indeed! If you didn't give us the break down, I would still be wondering where the $1 went!
    And you made the story fun by injecting the Eddie character here ;-)

  11. ah, yes...the missing dollar!

    Heard this one many years ago, but I enjoyed your version so much better!

    xoxoxo, clare

  12. Ok! That was an old puzzle yet confusing each time I read it !!! lol!
    The Puzzle Personality Test
    What kind of puzzle are you?

  13. Oh Eddie, leave it you! My Daddy used to give us that riddle periodcially when we were growing up, but it was never told in such a way as to pique my interest. I'm printing this out so he can brush up his conundrum for the next generation!

  14. Just called to see how you are doing. Its all beyond me but you seem well! Keep smiling!

  15. Now I'm a'grinnin' - and I love your philosopher photo :-D

  16. Happy Easter to you, Eddie and your lovely Mrs., too.


  17. Fantastic blog! I don’t think I’ve seen all the angles of this subject the way you’ve pointed them out. You’re a true star, a rock star man. You’ve got so much to say and know so much about the subject that I think you should just teach a class about it...Ha-ha!


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