A man had a basket containing fifty potatoes. He proposed to his son, as a little recreation, that he should place these potatoes on the ground in a straight line. The distance between the first and second potatoes was to be one yard, between the second and third three yards, between the third and fourth five yards, between the fourth and fifth seven yards, and so on — an increase of two yards for every successive potato laid down. Then the boy was to pick them up and put them in the basket one at a time, the basket being placed beside the first potato. How far would the boy have to travel to accomplish the feat of picking them all up? We will not consider the journey involved in placing the potatoes so that he starts from the basket with them all laid out.

Solutions: 1

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References

Project Gutenberg

1. Dudeney, H. E.: "Amusements in Mathematics", The Authors' Club, 1917

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