On a day in spring a boy has gathered cherry blossoms under a cherry tree. Nearby a poet is reading some of his poems aloud. As he reads, the boy counts out the cherry blossoms, one blossom for each word of a poem. After a number of poems (haiku) each 17 words in length the boy has 3 blossoms remaining; after some 28- word poems the boy has 5 blossoms left; after some 31-word poems he has 8 blossoms left. What is the least number of blossoms the boy has gathered?
Edo, Japan, 1603-1867Click here to reveal the answer