McNuggets

BurritoEater's McDonalds-centric post made me remember a joke I heard - I'm leaving out the right answer because I want you to figure it out for yourself (in the comments, homies)
In an phychiatric hospital, three patients are being evaluated. The Doctor decides to give them an intelligence test. He turns to the first man and asks, "McDonalds sells McNuggets in boxes of 3 and 20. You're feeling hungrier than usual so you decide to buy one of each box. Being the mathematically inclined person you are, you start to wonder... you know you can't buy 1, 2, 4, or 5 McNuggets, but you can buy 6. What is the largest sum of McNuggets you can't buy?"

"274 million" he replies.

The Doctor asks the second man, "McDonalds sells McNuggets in boxes of 3 and 20. You're feeling hungrier than usual so you decide to buy one of each box. Being the mathematically inclined person you are, you start to wonder... you know you can't buy 1, 2, 4, or 5 McNuggets, but you can buy 6. What is the largest sum of McNuggets you can't buy?"

"Tuesday," replies the second man.

The Doctor turns to the third man, "Okay, your turn. McDonalds sells McNuggets in boxes of 3 and 20. You're feeling hungrier than usual so you decide to buy one of each box. Being the mathematically inclined person you are, you start to wonder... you know you can't buy 1, 2, 4, or 5 McNuggets, but you can buy 6. What is the largest sum of McNuggets you can't buy?"

"________," says the third man proudly.

"Fantastic - exactly right!" says the doctor. "How did you arrive at that?"

"Simple," says the third man. "I subtracted 274 million from Tuesday."

What was the third man's correct response?

10 comments:

I Blog, You Blog said...

It appears that it's the small numbers that are tricky to make. After a point, you can have every combination with just these two sizes.

So my volley is that the biggest number you can't have is 37.

...or that's the point at which I quit testing on my spreadsheet because I'd gotten through the next 10 successfully, so I figure it's just factorals from there.

Probably there's a much more elegant solution and a formula to match. :)

Burrito Eater said...

I can't figure it out. 0 is my guess...

towwas said...

Oh my god, IBYB made a spreadsheet.

My answer is 26 million.

I Blog, You Blog said...

I know...you're shocked, right?

Hey, just be glad I didn't go through the 47 steps to actually post it. :D

towwas said...

Well, I can't really say I'm *surprised*, but I might just be a teensy bit appalled.

I Blog, You Blog said...

...and by that you mean "jealous." It's ok. You still outnerd me by a lot by virtue of your sciencewritingness... I won't be taking your trophy anytime soon. :)

I Blog, You Blog said...

...probably I'm the only one checking back to see if J.Bro is going to post the answer, huh?

nerd = me

oy.

J.Bro said...

IBYB - your answer was so self-evidently right that I thought the issue was settled! Spreadsheets don't lie!

I Blog, You Blog said...

Garbage in, garbage out, JBro...garbage in, garbage out. :)

I can now, however, start (er...wait, make that continue) my day validated. Yay!

Mucho graciases and schtuff...

I Blog, You Blog said...

Oh...and PS -- because I'm now certain you're the only one reading this, and largely because you get an email that's too tempting not to read... The formula (which I looked up) is

AB - A - B

...but since you posted it, probably you already knew that. :)