As you may know, Americans bought Manhattan from the Dutch many years ago. Before the island was full of skyscrapers, it was full of farms, and there for a long time Dutch customs persisted among cattle traders and farmers, such as buying eggs for dozens, or other things by measures such as "bushels" or "peaks "
This custom explains a very curious old problem published a couple of centuries ago in a book that collected anecdotes from old Manhattan. In this rare issue, the problem is explained as follows:
“Three Dutch acquaintances of mine who had recently married and brought their wives came to see me. Their names were Hendrick, Claas and Cornelius, and theirs Geertring, Catrun, and Anna, but I have forgotten who was whose wife. The fact is that they explained to me that they had gone to the market to buy pigs. Each of them bought as many pigs as shillings paid for each of them. Hendrick bought 23 pigs more than Catrun, and Claas bought 11 more than Geertring. We also know that each husband disbursed 3 guineas more than his wives. ”So the question is, is it possible with this description of the purchase to know who was whose wife?
Solving the problem would be very useful, because the small group was so disoriented after the beers and spirits, that none knew who was who, so the poor owner of the hotel where they were staying had to match them taking out the square roots of the pigs, of the money they cost, husbands and women.
Translation note: 1 Guinea was equivalent to 21 shillings
It is said that each person bought as many pigs as shillings paid for them, that each man spent 3 guineas more than his wife, that Hendrick bought 23 pigs more than Catrun and that Claas bought 11 more than Geertring.
The square root of pigs and women is extracted, which results in Geertring bought a pig for 1 shilling and that her husband, who had to be Cornelius He bought 8 pigs for 8 shillings each.
Catrun bought 9 pigs at 9 shillings each while her husband Claas He bought 12 pigs for 12 shillings each. Anna bought 31 huge pigs at 31 shillings and her husband Hendrick bought 32 pigs at 32 shillings.