The Best-Selling Cookie — at Least Right Now

It’s Girl Scout cookie time, when Girl Scouts all across America sell boxes of cool Thin Mints, peanut buttery Tagalongs, and coconutty Samoas. More than 200 million boxes of GS cookies sell every winter. But there’s a different number of cookies in each type of box. Thin Mints stack up in two long tunnels of plastic wrap, but Samoas sit in a tray so they won’t break. If you want as many Girl Scout cookies as possible, you’ll have to do the math.

Wee ones: What different shapes are the cookies you see above?

Little kids: How many cookies can you count in the picture? (Count all that you can see, even if only part of the cookie is in the picture!) Bonus: If there are 9 types of cookies and you eat 2 of each type, how many do you eat in total?

Big kids: If you make 2 stacks of Thin Mints and one has 2 more cookies than the other, and together they have 14 cookies, how many Thin Mints are in each stack?  Bonus: If one Girl Scout sells 4 boxes, the next girl sells 10 boxes, the next sells 16 boxes, and the next sells 22 boxes…how many boxes does the next girl sell to keep the pattern?

The sky’s the limit: If a Girl Scout sells either 8 or 15 boxes of any flavor, what combination of amounts could she sell that comes to exactly 100 boxes total?

Wee ones: Mostly circles, plus a 4-leaf clover.

Little kids: 10 cookies.  Bonus: 18 cookies.

Big kids: 8 Thin Mints in one, 6 in the other. If they were even, they’d be 7 and 7.  Bonus: 28 boxes, since each Scout sells 6 more than the one before.

The sky’s the limit: 15 boxes each of 4 flavors (60 boxes), then 8 boxes each of 5 more flavors (40 more boxes).

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