Three sailors come across a pile of coconuts. The first sailor takes half of them plus half a coconut. The second sailor takes half of what is left, plus half a coconut. The third sailor also takes half of what remains, plus half a coconut. Left over is exactly one coconut, which they toss to a monkey. How many coconuts were in the original pile?

This problem was one of my favorite problems growing up. The sailor conundrum focuses on perception and logic, word problems like this one tend to favor analytics and problem solving skills. To begin solving the problem you have to recognize what is happening inside of the sentences given and build a solution based off that understanding. Problems like the sailor conundrum take place every day and those who can recognize and solve them are given the opportunity to reap the rewards they offer.