Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Paige:

There are 7 women on a bus. Each has a backpack. In each backpack there are seven cats. Each cat has seven kittens. How many legs are there total on the bus?

Hi Paige,

These puzzles bother me as I am not sure exactly what is being asked.

There are 7 women on the bus and each woman has 2 legs to that's 2 × 7 = 14 legs.

Each has a backpack and each backpack has 7 cats so there are 7 × 7 = 49 cats. Each cat has 4 legs so that's 4 × 49 = 196 legs.

Each cat has 7 kittens and there are 49 cats so there are 49 × 7 = 343 kittens. Each kitten has 4 legs so that's 343 × 4 = 1372 legs.

Thus I get 14 + 196 + 1372 legs in total. But now my question. The problem doesn't say the kittens are in the backpacks or even on the bus so should their legs be included?


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