Posted by Im on Friday, May 18, 2012 at 12:42am.
K bought some marbles and gave half of them to L. bought some stamps and gave half of them to K.
K used 5 stamps and L gave away 11 marbles. The ratio of the number of stamps to the number of marbles K had left then became 1:7 and the ratio of the number of stamps to the number of marbles L had left became 1:5.
How many stamps did L buy?

math  Steve, Friday, May 18, 2012 at 10:38am
K's marbles started at km, and stamps at ks
L started with lm marbles and ls stamps.
after paragraph 1,
K has km/2 marbles and ks+ls/2 stamps
L has lm+km/2 marbles and ls/2 stamps
After spending and charity,
K has km/2 marbles and ks+ls/25 stamps
L has lm+km/211 marbles and ls/2 stamps
Finally,
(ks+ls/25)/(km/2) = 1/7
(ls/2)/(lm+km/211) = 1/5
Now, having four unknowns and only two equations, I must assume that K started with no marbles (ks=0), and L started with no stamps (lm=0). That leaves us with
(ls/25)/(km/2) = 1/7
(ls/2)/(km/211) = 1/5
Clear fractions and rearrange terms to get
7ls  km = 70
5ls  km = 22
ls=46
km=252
so, K bought 252 marbles, L bought 46 stamps
check:
after initial giving,
K and L each had 126 marbles and 23 stamps
Then K had 18 stamps and 126 marbles
and L had 23 stamps and 115 marbles
18/126 = 1/7
23/115 = 1/5