Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Uncommon Talents

I was doling out snacks one afternoon, and I started reading the recipe on this box of crackers:

Most of us, I think, can divide things in half, or in quarters, without too much difficulty. Many of us can do thirds and sixths. But this is the first time I've ever seen directions calling for eighteen equal pieces. I worked out a way to do it, but it took me a minute or two. Good thing they didn't call for 29 equal sections...


Marti said...

That is too funny! I wonder if the person that wrote that had a hard time pitching it to his/her boss?

Glad you caught that and shared it!

Jonadab said...

Eighteen is almost doable, because its largest prime factor is only three. Dividing something into seven or even five equal pieces would actually be harder.

I'm pretty sure 29 would be impossible without measuring.

The one that gets me though is cutting a plum tomato into nine slices. I don't think I've ever seen the kitchen equipment you'd need to slice tomato that thin. With an ordinary knife you generally only get about that many slices from a normal-sized tomato.