Skip navigation.
...where Math lovers and haters meet!

Square Money

“This is queer,” Enrico said to his friend.square coins

“Twopence added to twopence is fourpence,and twopence multiplied by twopence is also fourpence.”

Of course, he was wrong in thinking you can multiply money by money. The multiplier must be regarded as an abstract number.

It is true that two feet multiplied by two feet will make four square feet. Similarly, two pence multiplied by two pence will produce four square pence! And it will perplex the reader to say what a “square penny” is.

But we will assume for the purposes of this puzzle that twopence multiplied by twopence is fourpence.

Now, what two amounts of money will produce the next smallest possible result, the same in both cases, when added or multiplied in this manner?

The two amounts need not be alike, but they must be those that can be paid in current coins of the realm.