Thursday, January 07, 2010

Burning the Candle From Both Ends

My great-grandmother was always interested in saving money. She even found ways to save money by melting down the ends of old candles.

She realized that 1/4 of every candle used in the candle holder never burned. So, she would remove the ends and save them. Only when she had four candle ends, she would burn the four ends together as one candle.

If great-grandma went to the store to buy 16 candles, how many 'candles' did she end up actually using?


  1. 21.

    She would burn the 16 candles, leaving 4 candles worth of scraps, after burning those she would still have one full candle worth of scraps left to burn.

  2. Yes the answer is 21 candles

  3. Well, the answer is 21 1/4 coz, after burning 16 candles I will have 16*1/4=4 parts, that will give 4 more candles.
    So burning these 4 candles will give 4*1/4=1, one more candle.
    Now when this candle is burned, we will be left with another 1/4 part.

    So buying 16 candles actually results in buying 21 1/4 candles.

  4. That's it. 21 candles will be burned, with one remnant left over for the next time great-grandma goes shopping.

  5. She used those 16 candles only


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