Yoak: Garbled Marbles

It’s been a while since I posted a puzzle and happened upon a nice one today.

You find yourself babysitting a friend’s marble collection while he’s away at a conference of collectors.  The housekeeper, being an honest type, admits to having disturbed one of the displays.  She assures you that she returned all the marbles and shows you ten marbles laid out thus:

* * * * *

* * * * *

That looks fine, but the note to the side of it says five lines of four marbles each.  Since this is two lines of five marbles, must there be marbles missing or can they be laid out in a manner consistent with the note?




  1. MathFan said,

    November 14, 2011 at 12:36 am

    A variation of this puzzle was used as the CarTalk puzzler this week, but it involved planting 10 trees in 5 lines of 4 each. 

  2. jyoak said,

    November 14, 2011 at 12:47 am

    Bad timing!  I got it from a fantastic site, The Grey Labyrinth http://www.greylabyrinth.com/ where it is a decade old or some such.  :-)


RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URL

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

The Math Factor Podcast Website

Quality Math Talk Since 2004, on the web and on KUAF 91.3 FM

A production of the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark USA

Download a great math factor poster to print and share!

Got an idea? Want to do a guest post? Tell us about it!

Heya! Do us a favor and link here from your site!