### Brain Teasers

# Cages and Canaries

I am the owner of a pet store. If I put in one canary per cage, I have one bird too many. If I put in two canaries per cage, I have one cage too many. How many cages and canaries do I have?

### Answer

4 birds and 3 cagesSolution:

let x = the number of canaries and y = the number of cages. You can set up two equations using the two situations given.

First, if there is one canary per cage, then there is 1 cage too many (in other words, there is one more bird than cages): x - y = 1

Second, if there are two canaries per cage, then there is 1 cage too many (in other words, there is one more cage than half the number of canaries): y - x/2 = 1

Solve the two equations to get x = 4 and y = 3.

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