GeekDad Puzzle of the Week: Poaching Berries

Geek Culture

I am Oliver Twist’s Fagin. Image: Flickr/JSmithPhoto cc license.

There’s a wonderful patch of raspberries in a yard just down the block from us. It’s on the corner. There’s no fence. And Leif and Kestrel have been poaching berries. Picture a girl in three overlapping pairs of Star Wars underwear and a mohawk bike helmet towing along her older brother who is generally terrified of breaking rules, but will under the influence of his 4-year-old sister, for berries.

Please understand I’m neither condoning nor recommending this behavior. Well, okay, I do like berries. And if Leif and Kestrel are willing to give me a 20% cut, I’m willing to turn a blind eye. Imagine that Leif picks five berries per poach and Kestrel picks three berries per poach and that they attempt to poach once every day, with the exception of any day just after they’ve been caught. Now imagine that each time they poach berries, they have a 15% chance of getting caught. How many berries can I expect to eat each each week, averaged over time?

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