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Monk Mathamatical Puzzle

Monk Mathamatical Puzzle - 27 September

A monk has a very specific ritual for climbing up the steps to the temple. First he climbs up to the middle step and meditates for 1 minute. Then he climbs up 8 steps and faces east until he hears a bird singing. Then he walks down 12 steps and picks up a pebble. He takes one step up and tosses the pebble over his left shoulder. Now, he walks up the remaining steps three at a time which only takes him 9 paces. How many steps are there?

For Solution : Click Here


  1. Let Total x
    now(x/2 -8+12-1)=9*3 (up -, down +)
    that means x/2 = 27-3=24
    hence x=48

  2. Hi, There's possibly a mistake in the answer 48. The monk climbs to the middlemost step initially. If the number of steps is even there cannot exist a middlemost step. Hence the answer appears to be wrong. To have a middle step the nukber of steps must be odd. Let it be 2x+1. Then middlemost step is x+1
    Then the equation becomes (x+1)+8-12+1+27=2x+1
    that is x=24. Hence 2x+1=49.

  3. 48 steps means there is no middle step, 49 steps does provide an odd answer, however it does not work when considering his steps as a number line. The answer would have to be 47 when you consider the problem backwards.
    He reaches the top after 9 jumps of 3 steps each. The monk is 27 steps away from the top before the jumps.
    He had just taken a step closer, 28 steps away.
    Prior to that he had walked 12 away from the top, he was 16 steps from the top.
    He got there by taking 8 steps toward the top, making the middle step the 24th from the top.

    In order for the 24th to be considered the "middle", that means there are 23 steps below him, as well as above him. 23 below + 1 middle step + 23 steps above.

    47 steps total. The math in the "solution" link is wrong with the logical fallacy of assumption. 2N - 1 gives an answer that is odd just the same as 2N + 1. But then again you could pick any arbitrary odd number to put in the equation with that line of thinking.

    Further proof of why 49 is wrong: Subtract 24 from 49... 25. Previously we've discovered by working backwards from the top that the middle step the monk started on was the 24th step from the top. Were it actually 25, then the monks final step in the ritual would have been 8 jumps of 3 steps each, and 1 final jump of 2.

  4. 96 steps. Because he goes to the biddle step first, and then goes up the others. Therfore double the orginal number of 48 steps