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Problems from Another Time

Individual problems from throughout mathematics history, as well as articles that include problem sets for students.

A lion, a wolf and a fox each take a certain amount of time to eat a goat separately. How long would it take all these animals together to eat the goat?
Having been given the lengths, a and b, of two straight lines drawn from the acute angles of a right triangle to the middle of the opposite sides, determine the length of those sides.
A mouse is at the top of a poplar tree 60 braccia high, and a cat is on the ground at its foot. The mouse decends 1/2 a braccia a day and at night it turns back 1/6 of a braccia.
Given the dimensions of an isosceles trapezoid find the length of the transversal drawn parallel to the bases that divides the trapezoid into 2 equal areas.
A railway train strikes a snowdrift which creates a constant resistance. How long does it take the snow to stop the train?
The number 50 is divided by a certain number. If the divisor is increased by 3, the quotient decreases by 3.75. What is the number?
One military horse cannot pull a load of 40 dan; neither can 2 ordinary horses, nor can three inferior horses.
I was employed to survey a field, which I was told was an exact geometrical square, but by reason of a river running through it, I can only obtain partial measurements.
Three men have a pile of money, their shares being 1/2, 1/3 and 1/6. Each man takes some money from the pile until nothing is left.
A ladder has 100 steps. On the first step sits 1 pigeon; on the second, 2; on the third, 3; and so on up to the hundredth. How many pigeons in all?

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