Minus' Solution to

Goodbye Minus
Posted Weeks of July 20 - August 3, 1998

Minus gets the blue fish thrown out at the beginning.
At the two-minute mark, Minus grabs the red fish.
At the three-minute mark, Minus grabs the blue fish.
At the four-minute mark, Minus grabs the red fish.
At the six-minute mark, Minus grabs the blue fish.
At the eight-minute mark, Minus grabs the red fish.
At the nine-minute mark, Minus grabs the blue fish.
At the 10-minute mark, Minus grabs the red fish.
At the 12-minute mark, Minus grabs the blue fish.

In total, Minus eats 5 blue fish and 4 red fish.

Your Solutions

Minus received oodles of mail from well wishers around the world. His favorite comes from Kathryn Boon of St Hilda's Anglican School For Girls. Kathryn didn't mince words. She is well aware of the correlation between Minus' retirement and her homework load.
Minus was a great shark. He gave us maths problems to figure out so Mr. Davis (our teacher) got pleasure out of homework. But now sadly Minus is retiring, so hopefully we won't get as much homework.

Hopefully Minus will be happier with his 4 Red fish and 5 blue fish every 12 minute feeding session. I hope the red fish taste extra good as they don't have as much meat on them as the blue fish.

Minus will be sorely missed, but as you know, life must go on. And so must Minus.
Goodbye Minus.

Annabel Vaughan of St Hildas Anglican School For Girls in Perth W.A., provided this excellent meal topper for Minus to gum. That clever girl...she somehow found out that our grumpy friend has new dentures.
I worked out that Minus the shark will be fed 5 blue fish and 4 red fish every 12 minute feeding session. This is how I worked it out:

The blue trainer fed Minus the start of the feeding session and the third, sixth, ninth and twelth minute. The red trainer fed Minus the start of the feeding session and the second, fourth, sixth eighth, tenth and twelth minute. But Minus didn't take the red trainer' fish at the start of the feeding session the sixth minute or the twelth minute because he went for the bigger helping.

Sara (is it Berg?) proposed this interesting method to solve Minus' dinner woes.
The blue fish is twice as big, then after 12 min, the trainer would have thrown 4 fish (x2), which is 8.

The red fish, thrown every 2 min., would have been thrown 6 times, BUT he could eat all 10 fish, 14 "meat", because the trainers don't throw the same time, except at the beginning. So the first throw he would get the blue fish, then every red and blue fish after that.

Total=9 fish, 4 blue, 5 red.

Katherine Tate reworked the question somewhat and ended up with quite a different ending for our old mascot. Minus *really* liked the idea of meeting a nice female companion in the aquarium and insisted that we post Katherine's story. Hey, you never know, right?
When Minus enters the beautiful aquarium the trainers had arranged for him, he was faced with a serious problem.  When travelling, Minus gets a rather big appetite, and always needs a big feed.  As soon as he had entered the aquarium the blue and red trainers arrived with buckets of fish.

"Terrific!  I’m starving!" Minus announced.

Minus counts the fish that the trainers lay out on a table.  The blue trainer lays out 24 fish and the red trainer lays out 18 fish.  Minus is proud of his ability in mathematics, and so plans a way during the twelve minute feeding session to eat all 24 fish from the blue trainer. Although, he was soon faced with the other sharks pushing him out of the way in order to get their feeding.  He forgot he would be sharing the large aquarium with many other sea creatures.

Sadly, Minus returns to the back of the line, and swims away from the group.  In a matter of minutes, all 42 fish have been eaten, and the trainers have left.  Swimming away from the pack, a young female shark notices Minus’ empty look and offers him some of her feed from the red trainer.  She has 4 fish, and Minus has four fish.  Mathematics may not have always gotten what Minus wanted, but along his way he has met many friends.  It looks like he’s made a friend for life already.

Best wishes Minus from everyone at St Hilda’s in Perth.

Minus' appetite just isn't what it used to be. Age can do that to you. He's decided to save a few solutions to gnaw on during his trip to the aquarium. Special thanks to everyone who helped Minus pack his snack sack with goodies.
Bryony Dewar-Leahy of St Hildas Anglican School for Girls

Abhayan Sundararajan

Deanie Alston of St Hildas School

Hope R. of St Hildas School


Everyone in Mr. C. Davis' math class.


Thank you for all the yummy
solutions over the past few years.
Minus couldn't have survived
without your support.