From the Not Just Numbers blog:

Just a short, but seasonal, post this week – prompted by a quiz question my daughter was asked at school.

The question was, “How many gifts were received, in total, in the Christmas song The Twelve Days of Christmas?”

I thought that would make for an interesting Excel challenge.

So, the challenge is this:

Use Excel to answer the question, “How many gifts were received, in total, in the Christmas song The Twelve Days of Christmas?”

Explain in the comments how you would do this, remember though that it would be good practice to treat the 12 as a variable – so that you could enter any number of days of Christmas and the spreadsheet would calculate the total number of gifts.

In case you don’t know the song, here are the lyrics:

On the first day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the second day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

Two Turtle Doves

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the third day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

Three French Hens

Two Turtle Doves

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the fourth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

Four Calling Birds

Three French Hens

Two Turtle Doves

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the fifth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

Five Golden Rings

Four Calling Birds

Three French Hens

Two Turtle Doves

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the sixth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

Six Geese a Laying

Five Golden Rings

Four Calling Birds

Three French Hens

Two Turtle Doves

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the seventh day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

Seven Swans a Swimming

Six Geese a Laying

Five Golden Rings

Four Calling Birds

Three French Hens

Two Turtle Doves

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the eighth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

Eight Maids a Milking

Seven Swans a Swimming

Six Geese a Laying

Five Golden Rings

Four Calling Birds

Three French Hens

Two Turtle Doves

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the ninth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

Eight Maids a Milking

Seven Swans a Swimming

Six Geese a Laying

Five Golden Rings

Four Calling Birds

Three French Hens

Two Turtle Doves

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the tenth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

Ten Lords a Leaping

Eight Maids a Milking

Seven Swans a Swimming

Six Geese a Laying

Five Golden Rings

Four Calling Birds

Three French Hens

Two Turtle Doves

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the eleventh day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

Eleven Pipers Piping

Ten Lords a Leaping

Eight Maids a Milking

Seven Swans a Swimming

Six Geese a Laying

Five Golden Rings

Four Calling Birds

Three French Hens

Two Turtle Doves

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

On the twelfth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me:

12 Drummers Drumming

Eleven Pipers Piping

Ten Lords a Leaping

Eight Maids a Milking

Seven Swans a Swimming

Six Geese a Laying

Five Golden Rings

Four Calling Birds

Three French Hens

Two Turtle Doves

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Good luck. Post your approaches in the comments, and I will feature the slickest and/or the quirkiest solutions in next week’s post, along with my own solution.

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