An European mathematician likes to have a balanced breakfast every day.

It always includes whole milk and exactly one ingredient out of the list below:

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Yoghurt

What is the mathematician's nationality?

  • $\begingroup$ Does he vary between those 3? Or is it always milk & butter f.ex? $\endgroup$ – Prim3numbah Mar 16 '20 at 19:46
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    $\begingroup$ I see the language tag here. Do we need any foreign language knowledge to answer? $\endgroup$ – Duck Mar 16 '20 at 20:13
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    $\begingroup$ Just want to point out how unbalanced any of those breakfasts would be $\endgroup$ – anodyne Mar 16 '20 at 21:44

A look in a thesaurus tells us that a synonym of 'balanced' is:


This might mean that this mathematician prefers their breakfast to have:

An even number of letters in total among its ingredients.

Since they use 'whole milk'...

(which is 9 letters long) they will need to add another ingredient with an odd number of letters in order for the combined ingredients to have an even number of letters overall. The one ingredient on the list with an odd number of letters is YOGHURT (7 letters).

Since the mathematician is from a European country, this means they are most likely:

BRITISH, since this is the common British spelling of a word often spelled 'yogurt' (without the 'H') in other parts of the English-speaking world.

(I think they could also be Irish - I'm not 100% of the spelling there - but since the UK has a much greater population (66m vs approx. 5m) by probability alone they are more likely to be British...)

  • $\begingroup$ The answer is unambigous. $\endgroup$ – Mindwin Mar 16 '20 at 17:49
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    $\begingroup$ I'd be a bit disappointed if this is it. Looks a bit random, and not very self-confirming. (Also, I didn't know yogurt vs yoghurt was a British/American thing?) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 16 '20 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Randal'Thor This article gives a fairly nice balanced look at UK vs US. And I would query your use of 'random' when I've explained my step-by-step logic above! ;) $\endgroup$ – Stiv Mar 16 '20 at 18:00
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    $\begingroup$ I mean, the question would be a bit random if this is the intended answer. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 16 '20 at 18:05

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