Two years ago to Hobart-town

A certain number of folk came down

The square root of half of them got married

And then in Hobart no longer tarried

Eight-ninths of all went away as well

(This is a sad story to tell)

The square root of four now live here in woe!

How many came here two years ago? Note: Eight-ninths of all refers to eight ninths of the original number

Sources: Brandreth, Gyles (1981) The Puzzle Mountain Level 35 Number Classics, Page 70 Question 8

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