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Farmer Hobenstein has 24 cows, all of which never move at all. They are arranged on four sides of his rectangular house, 6 on each side, and there are windows through which he can watch them. He never goes out there, though.

One night the notorious Bellatrix Lestrange stole 12 of his cows. But still, Hobenstein could still see 6 cows on all four sides for ages.

How?

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  • $\begingroup$ How many windows are there? Total four, one for each side and centered in the sides? $\endgroup$
    – newzad
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. centered, 180* view. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 17:06
  • $\begingroup$ So from one window he can see three sides of the rectangle. am I right? $\endgroup$
    – newzad
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ no, he can see the side of the window's wall and the corners. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 17:08
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    $\begingroup$ @JonathanAllan Surprisingly, no. It's not a really sensible puzzle. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 17:21

3 Answers 3

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Bellatrix moves six of the remaining cows to the northeast field, and moves the other six to the southwest field.

The next morning, Farmer Hobenstein stands in the northwest corner of his house. He looks through the north window and sees six cows. He looks through the west window and sees six cows.

enter image description here

He moves to the southeast corner of his house. He looks through the east window and sees six cows. He looks through the south window and sees six cows.enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Pretty good! There are lots of answers to this question, btw. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ @AravindSuresh: Then it'll be closed as "too broad". Puzzles should have one answer that stands out from the rest. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 5:19
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The thief could, amongst other schemes

line three cows on each diagonal of his rectangular house, so the farmer double counts them.

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Bellatrix Lestrange steals 3 cows from each side. If Farmer Hobenstein has trouble counting then he counts the three cows he can see on each side twice by mistake. So he can still see 24 cows even though there are only 12

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  • $\begingroup$ So you mean in reality there are only 2 cows on each side, but Hob counts each side twice? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ No, there are three cows on each side (12 cows divided by 4 sides) and he counts each cow twice $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ is it like this: postimg.org/image/ibbya7hgh $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 17:07
  • $\begingroup$ if yes you are wrong. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ @AravindSuresh I think there are many answers to this question. If think you should remove the (who has trouble counting) bit otherwise answers like these are actually correct $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 17:24

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