Mr. Jones, the math teacher, was told by his wife Molly to go to farmer Elmer Sudd’s grocery store to buy some eggs as she wanted to bake a cake for their son Seymour’s birthday.
Mr. Jones puttered out of the house in his loafers and headed for Elmer Sudd’s store by the farm.
“Mr. Sudd, do you have some eggs for sale,” inquired Mr. Jones politely, adjusting his thick-lensed glasses on his bulky nose.
“Mr. Jones, you flunked my son Homer in math. That’s why he didn’t graduate from high school this year,” growled farmer Sudd, fixing Mr. Jones with beady eyes.
Mr. Jones shuffled uncomfortably in front of the shop counter and began polishing his glasses with great concentration, checking the level of polish against the ceiling light every now and then.
“Yes, well… that was very unfortunate,” stammered Mr. Jones, “but your son Homer got all the problems wrong on the final exam, and spilled ink on my shirt – so I had no choice,” he apologized.
“But, please, do you have any eggs for sale?” repeated Mr. Jones. “My wife will be very angry if I show up without any eggs for the cake which she is baking for my son Seymour’s birthday,” appealed Mr. Jones.
“Is that so, Mr. Jones. I do have some eggs and you can have them if you can solve a problem I read in Reader’s Digest that should be simple for a math teacher,” said farmer Sudd with malicious grin.
“Very well, what’s this problem?” inquired Mr. Jones timidly.
“The product of the eight divisors of the number of eggs I have is 331776,” said farmer Sudd with a smile twisted halfway to his ear.
“If you can tell me how many dozen eggs I have, I will sell them to you for a premium price, Mr. Jones, so you can make your wife happy.”
Mr. Jones stopped polishing his glasses, pulled out a Casio calculator and tapped the keys ten times, after which he announced the correct dozen of eggs to farmer Sudd.
“Hmmm… Homer, get ready, I’m sending you to summer school to learn math,” announced farmer Sudd to Homer skulking in a corner.
Can you work out how many dozen eggs farmer Sudd had?