Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Turf Puzzle

To show how little the patrons of the turf know about the theory of odds as practiced at the race track, let readers seek a solution to the following elementary problem:
If the odds are 7 to 3 against Apple Pie and 6 to 5 against Bumble Bee, what should be the odds against the famous running horse Cucumber?
-Sam Loyd, Cyclopedia of Puzzles, 1914


  1. I did not know that they would express odds as exactly as 7:3.... I'm guessing that you don't want 3:1 as the answer... but that's what it should be if.... there's only 3 horses... and the house isn't taking a cut...


  2. I quoted the original language - maybe it's just to make it colorful - it was very accurate ... don't round off. And no, the track is not taking a cut and everything's "on the square" as it were.

    I'll post the answer later after other folks have had a chance. It's close to 3:1 but not quite.

  3. I got 83:27, but that is kind of an ugly ratio. I have no idea about that word puzzle :( .

  4. Mheh! I think I figured it out.

  5. Yup.
    3/10 + 5/11 = 83/110