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From Mahavira (Posted on 2017-07-18) Difficulty: 2 of 5
From the year c. 850 the book Ganita-Sara-Sangraha contains the following:

Three merchants saw in the road a purse. One said, "If I secure this purse, I shall become twice as rich as both of you together."
Then the second said, "I shall become three times as rich."
Then the third said, "I shall become five times as rich."
What is the value of the money in the purse, as also the money on hand?

There are an infinite number of solutions. Find the smallest whole number amounts the merchants could have.

No Solution Yet Submitted by Jer    
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re(4): Simple Solution, simple-yes ... correct-Yes | Comment 9 of 11 |
(In reply to re(3): Simple Solution, simple-yes ... correct-Yes by Ady TZIDON)

Though Brian's interpretation was not the expected one, it does seem to be a reasonable reading.  The source is "The Penguin book of curious and interesting puzzles" by David Wells, 1992.  Problem #52.  The solution given implies Steve's interpretation. 

I've shared a few problems slightly rewritten from this source lately, but this one is word for word.  The translation in the bibliography is (1912) M. Rangacarya, Government Press, Madras. 

Edited on July 19, 2017, 5:11 pm
  Posted by Jer on 2017-07-19 13:25:16

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