Math Maven's Mysteries - Test your math skills and crack the case.

The Mystery of Pirate Ringold's Lost Treasure

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Detectives, you are about to join me on a most exciting case. My old friend and world-famous treasure hunter Frieda Finditall has discovered the wrecked ship of the legendary Pirate Ringold – right here in Point Logos Bay!

For many years, people in Point Logos have told the story of Pirate Ringold's lost ship, the Grand Looter. Legend has it that the pirate hid exactly 100 ounces of gold throughout his ship. I decided to help Frieda go through the ship's loot – and find out if there's any truth to this golden legend!

It didn't take long before Frieda found the first treasure. "Math Maven, come quick!" she yelled, pulling an old leather pouch from inside the ship's cannon.

She opened the pouch and exclaimed, "My goodness! These are pure gold coins! Math Maven, how much is here?"

I quickly weighed the coins. "19 1/2 ounces," I announced. "There's still plenty of gold hidden around this ship."

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We decided to search the pirate's quarters next. Frieda knew just where to look. Without a word, she opened the pirate's desk and found a secret compartment containing an old compass and a black telescope.

She closed one eye and inspected the compass closely. "We found another treasure!" she announced. "This compass is solid gold."

The compass weighed 26 2/3 ounces. "There's bound to be more gold on this ship – but where?" said Frieda, idly tapping the old telescope against the pirate's desk.

Suddenly, we heard a "clink" from inside the telescope. "Ah, ha!" she exclaimed, removing the telescope's lens. Out fell an intricate key.

"Hooray!" yelled Frieda. "This must be the key to the pirate's treasure chest!"

"Hold on there, Frieda!" I laughed. "Take a closer look at that key." She was so excited, she didn't notice that the key was shiny gold.

"Well, I'll be! This is a little treasure all by itself!" she said, weighing the key. "That's another 5 1/6 ounces of gold."

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We couldn't wait to open the treasure chest. Frieda and I expected to find mounds of gold jewelry and coins inside, but instead there was just a pile of pirate clothes: a red silk scarf, a black eye patch, shiny knickers, a black and white shirt, and an old metal hook covered with barnacles.

"Look, Frieda!" I exclaimed. "This must be Pirate Ringold's hook. The legend says that he lost his hand in a great pirate battle."

"Big deal!" said Frieda with a pout. "There's no gold in here."

"Not so fast, Frieda," I said, spotting a glimmer of light on the old metal hook. We scraped away the barnacles and discovered the old pirate's hook was made of shiny gold. It weighed 48 1/3 ounces.

"All that time Pirate Ringold's most clever hiding place was right out in the open," Frieda laughed. "Well, I guess our work here is done. We've found the legendary 100 ounces of hidden gold."

"I wouldn't jump ship yet," I warned her. "I have a sneaking feeling we haven't found the whole treasure."

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Solve the Mystery

Super sleuths, if the legend of the 100 ounces of gold is true, help Frieda figure out how much gold is still hidden on the ship.

Remember, if you add or subtract fractions, they must share the same denominator. If you're adding fractions with different denominators – like 1/4 and 1/2 – first change the fractions so they all share a least common denominator – like 1/4 and 2/4. Then you can add or subtract the numerators to find the total sum or difference. (For example, 1/4 + 2/4 = 3/4.)

Okay, detectives: How much of Pirate Ringold's treasure is still missing? (Here's a Math Maven Hint: Reduce the fraction to its lowest terms.)

1/3 ounce
2/3 ounce
1 1/6 ounces
99 2/3 ounces
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