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Thursday 18 January 2018

# The solution to the fruit equation driving the internet crazy

Andrew Griffin

A puzzle has been circulating around Facebook has been driving friends and families apart in an attempt to find the answer.

But the solution is 14, and those that believe otherwise have been tricked by the confusing drawings, The Independent can reveal.

In the picture, an apple represents 10, each banana represents one and each coconut half represents one. Those numbers can be easily added up to resolve the “??” as 14.

The apples must equal 10 because three of them add up to 30 (and they all appear to be identical). That means that two bunches of four bananas must represent four, since two of those plus an apple equals 18. Which, in turn means that each coconut half is worth one, because if you subtract two of them from a bunch of bananas you get two.

So far, so confusing — but all of that is much clearer when you look at the pictures.

But everything then gets a lot murkier. Many people are finding that the answer appears to be 16 — but that’s the result of the pictures being confusing.

Many people are missing that one coconut and one banana has been removed from the last line. If you remove those then you subtract two, and get to the final and definitive answer: 14.