and eat away....the bill comes out to 30$ so they each put down 10$. The waiter takes the 10$ to the cashier. The cashier decides to knock 5$ off the price cause they're soldiers. so he tells the waiter. The waiter gives each soldier 1$ back and pockets the rest.

each soldier paid 9$. Times three soldiers. 9$x3=27$. Plus the 2$ the waiter pocketed 27$+2$=29$
and here's the question - where did one dollar go?

Originally posted by Asher123 and eat away....the bill comes out to $30 so they each put down $10. The waiter takes the $30 to the cashier. The cashier decides to knock $5 off the price cause they're soldiers. so he tells the waiter. The waiter gives each soldier $1 back and pockets the rest.

each soldier paid $9. Times three soldiers. $9x3=$27. Plus the $2 the waiter pocketed $27+$2=$29
and here's the question - where did one dollar go?

it went nowhere! this is an ancient puzzle usually involving three people in a hotel room.
the problem is that you're bollixing the operations here.
while it seems as if each soldier pays $9, you can't set up the problem that way.
the only way to look at this is:
original bill = $30
refund = $5
waiter keeps $2 so bill is $27.
all money is accounted for!

It either went to the waiter, or the cook, or back to one of the soldiers - depending on which dollar it was!

Each soldier paid ($30 - $3)/3 = $9
soldiers paid a total of $27
waiter pocketed $2 of what the soldiers paid.
cook got $27-$2 = $25

The flaw is that the waiter got his money from the soldiers, so you can't add his money to the soldiers payments as it's already counted in them. You *can* subtract it though, if you want to work out what went to the cook.

I will restate what barefootchessplayer and iamatiger have said, but in a slightly different manner as to make the explination a bit more simple to understand.

Since the soldiers paid 27 dollars, the three remaining dollars of the original 30 went back to them. The two dollars that the waiter took was not part of the remaining three dollars as it was taken from the money that the soldiers paid for their meal. They technically paid 25 dollars to the restaurant, but they paid a total of 27 because of the waiter's 2 dollar "tip".