Bunuel wrote:
A butler stole wine from a butt of sherry which contained 32% of spirit and then replaced what he stole by wine containing only 18% spirit. The butt was then of 24% strength only. How much of the butt had he stolen?
A. 15 %
B. 16%
C. 17%
D. 18%
E. None of the above
I feel like I'm misunderstanding the intention behind the problem if those are the answer choices. I don't know what "32% of spirit" means - "spirit" is not a synonym for "alcohol". I had to look it up just now, but sherry itself is made by combining wine with a spirit (brandy). Wine is not normally considered a "spirit" at all, so it's not clear to me how it could contain "18% spirit". If the question instead means that the sherry contains 32% alcohol, and some of it is replaced by a mixture with 18% alcohol, then we're combining a 32% solution with an 18% solution and arriving at a 24% solution. Since 24 is closer to 18 than it is to 32, more than half of the mixture must be the 18% solution, so none of the numerical answer choices is remotely close to possible, leaving E as the answer (NitishJain has solved the problem exactly above - using distances, we must be mixing in a 8 to 6 ratio, so 8/14 = 4/7 of the mixture is the 18% solution).
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