The stolen Car Puzzle

The stolen car.

Nigel Fenderbender bought a secondhand car for USD 900 and advertised it in the local paper for USD 2900. A respectable looking elderly gentleman dressed as a clergyman turned up at the doorstep and enquired about the car, and bought it at the asking price. However, he mistakenly made his cheque out for USD 3000, and it was the last cheque in his cheque-book..

Now, Fenderbender had no cash in the house, so he nipped nextdoor to the local newsagent, Maggie Zine, who was a friend of his, and got her to change the cheque. He paid the clergyman USD 100 change. However, when Maggie tried to pay the cheque in at the bank, it bounced. In order to pay back the newsagent, she was forced to borrow USD 3000 from another friend, Honest Harry.

After Fenderbender had repaid this debt as well, he complained vociferously. “I lost USD 2000 profit on the car, USD 100 in change, USD 3000 repaying the newsagent and another USD3000 repaying Honest Harry. That’s USD 8100 altogether!

How much money had he actually lost?

More detective math puzzles later ! (for example, do you know that math can be used to detect art forgeries also?)

Nalin Pithwa



  1. vivek
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    i think Nigel Fenderbender lost USD 7000 actually. (900+100+3000+3000)

    • Posted November 23, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Fenderbender paid USD 900 for the car and an extra USD 100 to the clergyman as change. He counted all his outgoings but forgot to include the corresponding income. All other transactions cancel out, so he lost USD 1000.

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