Word Problem Wednesday: The Origami Dinner Party!

By Damaris | Added Feb 17, 2016

It's another Word Problem Wednesday! In February, we're all about celebrating the beauty of math in all its forms... one of which is the geometric art of origami. Give our origami-themed word problem a try; we'll update with the answer tomorrow!

Five people sit down for a fancy dinner. Each of their napkins is folded into a different origami animal—a swan, a frog, a rabbit, a fish, a pig, or a turtle. The person at the head of the table always gets the rabbit. How many different ways can the napkins be arranged around the table?

Update: Here's the solution!

Because the rabbit must be at the head of the table, we only need to find the number of possible animals for the other 4 place settings. There are 5 options for the first place setting’s animal, followed by 4 remaining options for the next place setting, 3 for the third place setting, and 2 for the fourth. To find the number of possible combinations, we multiply the number of possibilities for each place setting together. So, there are 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 = 120 possible arrangements.