In my backyard is a huge tree. In the tree are squirrels. I have noticed the following about them:

  • One squirrel has a lot of acorns
  • Two squirrels have none (I've seen them both at the same time)
  • I have only seen 2 squirrels at once
  • There are 12 squirrel burrows, some are abandoned
  • One squirrel has blueish fur, one has red
  • All the others are brown
  • One time I counted: There are 456 acorns in the tree at the beginning of fall
  • There are two squirrels who are crazy
  • Three times, I have caught a squirrel in the garden

About a month ago, my sister gave me her notes on the squirrels:

  • There are three squirrels with especially bushy tails
  • The one with many acorns is usually followed by a crazy squirrel with a bushy tail
  • One squirrel lives at the top of the tree, and he has never found an acorn. He is very smart and quiet. He stays away from the crazy squirrels and the squirrel that has 41 acorns
  • I named one squirrel Gardener, since I and my brother have only seen him in the garden (Twice with my brother, three times on my own when he tried to eat the corn)
  • One squirrel has such a thin tail, it is almost invisible!
  • One squirrel of each color has a bushy tail!
  • The blue squirrel has 85 acorns
  • Gardener lives by the garden. His tail is normal, and he's a brown squirrel.

My brothers visited one day, and were observing the tree. Here's our conversation:

ME: I hope those squirrels aren't in the garden again!

BROTHER: That squirrel in the garden we saw together that one time looked so crazy!

BROTHER: His tail was thin as bone!

ME: I know, right? The other two times, it was a also a brown squirrel, but it or they had a normal tail.

BROTHER: That red squirrel had exactly 254 acorns!

ME: That's crazy! Oh look, there's that crazy squirrel who always follows the rich one! Go count his acorns!

BROTHER: He probably only has a few!

BROTHER: He has 14...15...16!

Later that day, a thin little squirrel came down from the tree. He was crazy, and he had no acorns. I felt bad for him, but not too bad.

Today, I found the squirrels that go to the garden. There are three burrows outside of the garden, but I can't tell if one is inhabited or not. One had 41 acorns, another (With the thin tail) had 60.

How many squirrels are there?

  • $\begingroup$ First of all you might want to get a cat $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    Apr 13, 2018 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ @alex The squirrels are friends with a big dog $\endgroup$ Apr 13, 2018 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ Then get an alligator. Or a mountain lion.    :-)    ⁠ $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2018 at 4:12
  • $\begingroup$ @PeregrineRook The squirrels might get a bear $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2018 at 14:08

1 Answer 1


There are 7 squirrels.


Ignore all other data and count acorns. Total of 456.
Known numbers are 41, 16, 60, 85, 254 (totalling 456)
And there are two more that have zero.

  • $\begingroup$ But do we know all of these are distinct? What if a squirrel had 16 acorns during the conversation with the brother, and later had 41? $\endgroup$ Apr 13, 2018 at 21:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Acccumulation for all intents and purposes, the squirrels never die, and have the same number of acorns at all times. $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2018 at 2:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Acccumulation Then presumably we'd be double counting acorns and the total wouldn't add to 456 (or we can assume it was a snapshot total). $\endgroup$ Apr 14, 2018 at 2:59

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