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An Old Tavern Tradition

Lonely tavern

Lonely tavern

In an old remote village, you enter a dark and forgotten tavern. You wake the sleeping bar man and ask him, “I have traveled afar and am thirsty. Tell me, what do you have on tap?”

Groggily the bar man answers, “Young man, we have anything you want behind this bar. However,” he flashes forgotten old teeth at you, ” we have a tradition here. In order to get a drink at this bar, you need to solve this little puzzle. Yes?” He reaches for an old yellow note pad and writes four numbers, a plus sign and an equal sign. As he slides the note across, he seems almost happy and tells you, “Using only the numbers and signs provided on this paper; rearrange them such that you get a true equation.”


You ask for the pen and spend some time rearranging these in a number of ways. It takes you a minute or two, or maybe it was four, but then you get it.  You look up and smile, “Is this the answer?” The old bar man pounds his fist on the table & shortly thereafter pours you a cold beer.

What was your final answer?


Your answer written on a note was:2345plusequalA



Stating the obvious here, but I enjoy riddles & puzzles. Anyone else also struggling with seemingly simple 5th grade math problems?

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