« Boston Python puzzles

Redistribute the Wealth

Some men sat in a circle, so that each had two neighbors. Each had a certain number of coins. The first had one coin more than the second, who had one coin more than the third, and so on. The first gave one coin to the second, who gave two coins to the third, and so on around the circle, each giving one coin more than he received, for as long as possible. There were then two neighbors, one of whom had four times as much as the other. How many men were there? And how many coins did the poorest man have at first, and how much richer did he get?

You can solve this with algebra. But that’s hard! Why not let Python do the work for you.

Bonus: For which ratios are there multiple solutions to this problem?


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