There’s nothing like a good old brainteaser to catch the internet’s attention.
However, the latest one that has surfaced on Facebook is proving a little tricky for our problem-solving skills.
The maths puzzle – which has already already garnered more than half a million comments and 13,000 shares since it was posted a few weeks ago – involves working out the values of three equestrian-themed symbols – a horse, a horseshoe and a cowboy boot.
Sure it looks simple enough… until you reach the last part of the equation:
Let’s start by answering the first three questions:
Question one: 3 horses = 30, so 1 horse = 10.
Question two: 1 horse + 2 horseshoe pairs = 18, so 1 horseshoe pair = 4. Consequently, 1 horseshoe = 2.
Question three: 1 horseshoe pair – 1 cowboy boots pair = 2, so 1 cowboy boots pair = 2. Consequently, 1 cowboy boot = 1.
The final question requires you to add the cowboy boot and the horse and multiply by the horseshoe and that’s where things get tricky – with people coming up with answers ranging from 11 to 52.
For the correct answer, you need to look at the Bodmas rule – Brackets, Order, Divide, Multiply, Add and Subtract – the sequence of operations of arithmetic.
And in this case, you need to multiply before you add – so that means the answer is 1 + 10 x 2 = 21.
If 21 is your answer, then congratulations! And if you are still confused, here’s a more detailed explanation: