THE KING AND THE GOLD BARS
There was a good and kindly King that was well respected and loved
by his subjects in his far-reaching kingdom. This kingdom was revered,
and even envied, by all other kingdoms for the prosperity and happiness
enjoyed by all living there. The King took great pride in this and when
issues arose that were less than desirable, preserving the ideal rule over
his dominion was of utmost importance to him.
One day his royal bean counter approached him with the news that the
tax levied on the subjects was not being met by all. Each subject was
required to pay up in 10 gold bars at tax collection time. This was
generally done with a glad heart because of the abundance enjoyed by all.
However, a consistent pattern developed whereby 10 gold bars each came up
10% lighter than required. The bean counter was prepared to confront the
peoples to seek out the fraudulent subject, but the King would not hear
of it. His overwhelming desire to preserve the healthy image of his
kingdom prevailed and so he wisely developed a plan to quietly ascertain
the guilty party.
To assure that the subjects had no reason to suspect foul play among
their peers the routine collection was to proceed as normal. This is
to say that there would be a single weigh-in for every 10 subjects. How
then was it possible, without weighing each collection separately, to
determine which subject was skimming 10% from their gold bars?
(If you cannot figure it out, send me an email and request the answer)