A mathematical puzzle

Topic started by Pavalamani Pragasam (@ on Thu Apr 17 05:47:50 .
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

Here is an interesting mathematical puzzle I came across recently:
A king had 24 horses kept in a shed in the shape of a square divided into 9 small squares- 3 in a row. The central square was blocked & the horses were kept in the surrounding 8 squares. Like this:
3 3 3
3 * 3
3 3 3
A servant was appointed to look after the horses. Guards came round regularly to check the number of horses. Their habit was to stand in front of each corner & see if there were 9 horses in total in the 3 squares of the row in front of them.
One day a friend of the servant approached him & requested him to accommodate his 8 horses for a few days. The servant refused describing how the guards came for checking the king’s horses every day & night. After hearing the counting method of the king’s guards the friend promised to put in his horses without the guards finding it out- ie in such a way that the rows contained 9 horses from any corner. The servant consented. How were the horses arranged in the 8 squares without the guards finding out?
There is more:
After a few days the friend came back & took away his horses. Alas! 4 of the king’s horses were found missing by the servant when he counted them. But there were 9 horses in each row to satisfy the guards. How did the clever thief friend arrange the remaining horses?
Let me have more such puzzles.


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