### Brain Teasers

# Show Me the Mommy!

Biggie Nuff, Baron of Grey Matter, now living in Shapeless, Mass., was dying from a newly developed allergy to water, and wanted his will to reflect the common inheritance law of his father's native country. Biggie's wife, Faerie, was pregnant at the time with what would be the first child for either of them. Biggie's new will stated that if his child were a boy, the son would get 2/3 of his estate, and his widow would get 1/3. If the child were a girl, the widow would get 2/3 of the estate, and the daughter would get 1/3.

In due time, Biggie died, and the authorities read his will, holding dispensation of the estate until the child was born. Five months after Biggie's death, Faerie delivered ... normal, healthy twins, a boy (whom she named Manny) and a girl (whom she named Goodie).

The estate's executor immediately appealed to the Shapeless magistrate to rule on the proper division for the estate. After a great deal of arguing and deep thought, plus several failed attempts to raise Biggie's spirit with a seance, the judge rendered a fair decision.

How did they divide Biggie's estate?

In due time, Biggie died, and the authorities read his will, holding dispensation of the estate until the child was born. Five months after Biggie's death, Faerie delivered ... normal, healthy twins, a boy (whom she named Manny) and a girl (whom she named Goodie).

The estate's executor immediately appealed to the Shapeless magistrate to rule on the proper division for the estate. After a great deal of arguing and deep thought, plus several failed attempts to raise Biggie's spirit with a seance, the judge rendered a fair decision.

How did they divide Biggie's estate?

### Answer

The judge reasoned that Biggie intended to give his wife half as much as a son, or twice as much as a daughter. Therefore, he ruled that Manny gets 4/7 of the estate, Faerie gets 2/7, and Goodie gets 1/7.(This is supposedly a real decision in Massachusetts, according to the Reader's Digest puzzle book in which I first read this, copyright 1967. Obviously, I've changed the names).

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## Comments

HOW KOOL!!! I was tricked for a second.Very SMART!

it was okay

i thought it was hard but im not very good at math

Aug 01, 2005

I thought the answer would have been that the widow gets 3/6 [1/2] of the estate, the son 2/6 [1/3] of the estate, and the daughter 1/6 of the estate ??? Oh well, 'twas wrong :-(

Seems like the judge should first divide the estate in half, because there are now two offspring. Then, following the terms of the will, he divides the son's half 2:1 and the daughter's half 1:2.

Thus the son gets 2/3 of 1/2 = 1/3. The daughter gets 1/3 of 1/2 = 1/6. And the mom gets 1/3 of 1/2 plus 2/3 of 1/2 = 1/2 of the total estate.

Thus the son gets 2/3 of 1/2 = 1/3. The daughter gets 1/3 of 1/2 = 1/6. And the mom gets 1/3 of 1/2 plus 2/3 of 1/2 = 1/2 of the total estate.

very good teaser, funny too, i love it!!! this one goes into my faves

Cute

great teaser!!! apparently Biggie wasn't exactly a feminist. (srry if that was a coincidence, im a strong feminist and consider a lot of things insulting) very clever!!!! can't believe it was real!!!!

Fantastically humorous names The cleverness has inspired my to get playful with my next teaser submission.

Isn't this math??? I dont like to think about math on summer vacation...but it is clever!

this is so sexist!

Yes, it's sexist. The will reflected the common law of many regions of western Europe. I changed the names, but the facts are from an acutal case in Massachusetts in the early 20th century.

Huh?????

that was the coolest!

NICE! can't get much better than that!

Super!!!

I liked this teaser, it was fun. I was about to put it on, because i just heard it on car talk, man, now i know where they get their puzzlers from. Hence they are from Massachusetts.

Love the Humour!!! However, I did come up with the same answer as MikeB and Connor Canuck....maybe we should have a little talk with that Judge (hee hee).

I figure since she had twins she deserves the whole pot really and she can decide how to split it up if she wants to. or...

She gets 1/3 of something plus 2/3 of something else. The boy gets 2/3 of the first something, the girl gets 1/3 of the 2nd something. So,

Widow gets x/3 + 2y/3

Boy gets 2x/3

Girl gets y/3

The two somethings have to sum up to 100% so

x+y=100

Now it seems fair to just set the two somethings equal to each other, that is set x=y. So,

x=y=50

Widow gets 50/3 + 2*50/3 = 50% (a half),

Boy gets 2*50/3 = 33.3% (a third),

Girl gets 50/3 = 16.6% (one sixth).

Sure maybe the widower meant for the boy to have twice as much as the widow, but since he didn't provide for the twins situation in his will, se la vi. The widower gets more cuz she gets her fair portion from both kids. She'll be using it to buy the boy's diapers anyhow, so he has no right to complain.

She gets 1/3 of something plus 2/3 of something else. The boy gets 2/3 of the first something, the girl gets 1/3 of the 2nd something. So,

Widow gets x/3 + 2y/3

Boy gets 2x/3

Girl gets y/3

The two somethings have to sum up to 100% so

x+y=100

Now it seems fair to just set the two somethings equal to each other, that is set x=y. So,

x=y=50

Widow gets 50/3 + 2*50/3 = 50% (a half),

Boy gets 2*50/3 = 33.3% (a third),

Girl gets 50/3 = 16.6% (one sixth).

Sure maybe the widower meant for the boy to have twice as much as the widow, but since he didn't provide for the twins situation in his will, se la vi. The widower gets more cuz she gets her fair portion from both kids. She'll be using it to buy the boy's diapers anyhow, so he has no right to complain.

I also had the 1/2, 1/3, 1/6 answer, but I like the solution answer better.

Since the will did not cover the eventual situation I say throw it out and give them each a third. The dead guy will never know.

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