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puzzles

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These puzzles (most of them old classics) from various sources can be used with pupils who

finish classwork early. Most of the questions were chosen with enthusiastic, bright early

teenagers in mind.

Some of the puzzles are also appropriate for class work - an initial worked example on the board

will help a lot.

There are a few trick questions. Some questions can be quickly answered if you chance upon the

right approach, but the 'long' solution isn't too arduous.

A. Scales and Vessels

1. How can you measure out exactly 4 litres of water from a tap using a 3 litre and a 5 litre

bucket?

2. A 24 litre bucket is full of lemonade. 3 people want to have equal amounts of it to take

home, but they only have a 13 litre, a 5 litre and an 11 litre bucket. How do they do it?

3. A Queen (78kg), the Prince (36kg) and the King (42kg) are stuck at the top of a tower. A

pulley is fixed to the top of the tower. Over the pulley is a rope with a basket on each end.

One basket has a 30kg stone in it. The baskets are enough for 2 people or 1 person and

the stone. For safety's sake there can't be more than a 6kg difference between the weights

of the baskets if someone's inside. How do the people all escape?

4. One of 9 otherwise identical balls is overweight. How can it be identified after 2 weighings

with an old balance?

5. One of 27 otherwise identical balls is overweight. How can it be identified after 3

weighings with an old balance?

6. How many ways can you put 10 sweets into 3 bags so that each bag contains an odd

number of sweets?

B. Ferries

1. A farmer has to take a hen, a fox, and some corn across a river. The farmer can only take

one thing across at a time. Unless the farmer's present the fox will eat the hen and the

hen eat the corn. How is it done?

2. 3 missionaries and 3 obediant but hungry cannibals have to cross a river using a 2-man

rowing boat. If on either bank cannibals outnumber missionaries the missionaries will be

eaten. How can everyone cross safely?

3. 2 men and 2 boys need to cross a river in a boat big enough for 1 man or 2 boys. How do

they do it?

SMP and CSE 1974 extend this to cover the case of n men.

C. Picking Captains

1. 6 girls pick a captain by forming a circle then eliminating every n'th girl. The 2nd girl in the

counting order can choose n. If she wants to be captain what's the smallest n she should

pick?

2. 12 black mice and 1 white mouse are in a ring. Where should a cat start so that if he eats

every 13th mouse the white mouse will be last?

3. 20 passengers are in a sinking ship. 10 are mathematicians. They all stand in a ring. Every

7th climbs into the lifeboat which can only hold 10 people. Where should the

mathematicians stand in the ring?

4. 30 passengers are in a sinking ship. They all stand in a circle. Every 9th passenger goes

overboard. The lifeboat holds 15. Where are the 15 lucky positions in the circle?

D. Incomplete Sums

Some worked examples are in J.A.H. Hunter's "Mathematical Brain Teasers".

1. Each letter represents a different digit

SEND

+MORE

----MONEY

28*

+**4

---****

3. This subtraction sum uses all the digits from 1 to 9.

9**

-*4*

----**1

4. O represents odd digits E represents even digits

EEO

xOO

----EOEO

EOO

----OOOOO

5. P represents prime digits

PPP

xPP

----PPPP

PPPP

----PPPPP

6. Some more additions

o

THE

TEN

MEN

----

MEET

SLOW

SLOW

OLD

----

OWLS

o

o

SAL

SEE

THE

SUEZ

-----

CANAL

o

o

FIVE

FIVE

NINE

ELEVEN

------

THIRTY

7. What 5 digit number (where the digits are all different and none of them is zero) multiplied

by 4 gives an answer where the digits are those of the original number but in reverse

order?

E. Letters

Agree on a font of capital letters.

There is only one number whose English name uses as many straight lines to write as the

number itself.

Think of a number. Write it out in words. Write in words the number of letters you've used

(E.g. SIXTEEN-SEVEN-FIVE-FOUR). Continue do so and see what happens. Try 3 other

numbers.

F. Numbers

1. Alan, Bill and Chris dug up 9 nuggets. Their weights were 154, 16, 19, 101, 10, 17, 13, 46

and 22 kgs. They took 3 each. Alan's weighed twice as much as Bill's. How heavy were

Chris's nuggets?

2. The product of 3 sisters' ages is 175. Two are twins. How old is the other one?

3. A person has 2 bankcards, each with a 4 digit number. The 1st number is 4 times the 2nd.

The 1st number is the reverse of the 2nd. What is the first number?

4. Tom has 7 sandwiches, Jan has 5, Simon has none. They share them out equally. Simon

leaves, paying for his sandwiches by leaving 12 biscuits. What's the fairest way for Tom

and Jan to share out the biscuits?

5. A cyclist buys a cycle for 15 pounds paying with a 25 pound cheque. The seller changes

the cheque next door and gives the cyclist 10 pounds change. The cheque bounces so the

seller paid his neighbour back. The cycle cost the seller 11 pounds. How much did the

seller lose?

6. Using four "4"s and common symbols (including the square root, factorial and recurring

decimal symbols), make sums whose answers are 0, 1, 2....100 (See Mathematical

Bafflers)

7. Make fractions (each using all the digits from 1 to 9) with these values 1/2, 1/3....1/9

8. A greengrocer was selling apples at a penny each, bananas at 2 for a penny and pears at 3

for a penny. A shopper spent 7p and got the same amount (greater than 0) of each type of

fruit for each of their 3 children. What did each child get?

9. A woman bought something costing 34c. She only had 3 coins: $1, 2c and 3c. The

shopkeeper had only 2 coins: 25c and 50c. Fortunately another customer had 2 10c coins,

a 5c coin, 2 2c coin and a 1c coin. How did they sort things out?

10.Mr and Mrs A are 120 km apart. A bee is on Mr A's nose. The couple cycle towards each

other, Mr A at 25km/h and Mrs A and 15km/h. The bee dashes from Mr A's nose to Mrs A's

nose and back again and so on at 60km/h. How far does the bee travel before the cyclists

crash?

11.Pick a number. If it's even, divide by 2. If it's odd multiply by 3 and add 1. Continue this

until you reach "1". Eg 3-10-5-16-8-4-2-1. Which integer less than 100 produces the

longest chain?

12.Pick a number. Multiply the digits together. Continue until you get a single digit. What is

the only 2 digit number which would require more than 3 multiplication?

13.Starting with 1, place each integer in one of 2 groups so that neither contains a 3 term

Arithmetic Progression. How far can you go?

14.

o

Apples are packed in boxes of 8 and 15. What is the biggest number of apples that

would require loose apples?

A country only has 5p and 7p coins. Make a list of prices that you could give exact

money for. What is the highest prices that you couldn't give exact money for?

15.If D = the day (1-366) in year Y, then the day of the week can be calculated using

16. d = D+Y+(Y-1)/4 - (Y-1)/100 + (Y-1)/400 mod7

where d=1 would mean Sunday, etc. Can the first day of each century (e.g. 1st Jan 2001, 1st Jan

1901) be any day?

17.Pick 3 digits (not zero) and make 6 2-digit numbers from them. Add up all these numbers,

add up all the original digits and divide the first total by the second.

18.How many presents did the "true love" send during the 12 days of Christmas?

19.

At a fairground stall there are 3 piles of cans. You get 3 throws. You can only knock off the top

can of a pile. The 2nd throw counts double, the 3rd triple. How do you get exactly 50?

20.If you add the digits in the 1st, 3rd, 5th etc positions of a natural number, and get the

same total as you get by summing the other digits, the number is exactly divisible by 11.

For example, 17248 is a multiple of 11 because 1+2+8 equals 7+4. But the opposite isn't

true - there are multiples of 11 for which the sums don't match. What's the smallest

natural number for which this is so?

G. Enumerations

1. Holding its hands out, palms upward a child starts counting on all its fingers and thumbs,

going to and fro. If it counts up to 1982 which finger does counting end on?

2. You have 3 bricks, each measuring 18 x 9 x 6 cm. How many different heights can you

build up with them?

3. How many right-angled triangles with integral sides have one side of 15?

4. Minibuses seating 10, 12 and 15 passengers can be used to convey 120 passengers. There

are 5 of each size of bus. How many different ways can the buses be used so that all the

ones used are full? Which way uses the least buses?

5. Roosters cost 5 pounds, hens 3 pounds and 3 chicks cost 1 pound. Buying at least one of

each type of bird how can you buy 100 birds for exactly 100 pounds?

6. A woman puts 120p on the counter. "some 4p stamps, 6 times as many 2p stamps and the

rest in 5p stamps please". What does she need?

7. A cube is painted white and cut into 27 small cubes. How many of these little cubes are

painted on i) 1, ii) 2, iii) 3, iv) 0 sides?

See SMP E for answers and developments

H. Geometry

1. 9 geraniums have to be planted so that there are 3 plants in each row. How can they be

planted so that there are a) 8 b) 9 c) 10 lines.

2.

o

How many straight lines of unique lengths can you draw from dot to dot?

I. Miscellaneous

1. I have some square tiles. Half of them are black and the other ones are white. I arrange

them so that the black ones form a rectangle and the white ones make a border around

them one tile thick. I have no tiles left over. How many tiles do I have?

2. A man buys 5 cigarettes a day for 25 days. He keeps the stubs. From 5 stubs he made a

new cigarette. How many cigarettes does he smoke during this period?

3. The bacteria in a test-tube double each minute. It is full in one hour. When was it half full?

4. In a knockout with 39 players, how many games are played?

5. In a knockout with 39 players, how many byes?

6. A necklace is made from 4 chains each of 3 links. It costs 1p to cut a link and 2p to

resolder it. How can a necklace be made for 9p?

7. If a crocus costs 8p, a tulip 7p and a daffodil 11p, how much does a hyacinth cost?

Hint: count the vowels and consonants

8. Arrange a line of 5 coins as follows

9.

In 3 moves (each move consisting of turning over a pair of adjacent coins), arrange the coins so

that Heads and Tails alternate.

10.Town A and town B are 99 km apart. There are 98 km posts between them. On each post is

the distance to A and the distance to B. On how many posts are only 2 different digits

used? (for example, the post that says 'A 33, B 66' only uses 2 digits).

11.Clocks o

A clock goes at the right speed, but backwards. How many times each week does it

tell the right time?

J. Knights

1.

If you follow the jumps of a chess knight from word to word you can make a 20 word sentence

about the ages of Sue and Sal. Sue is in her teens, so how old is Sal?

2. On a 5 by 5 chessboard, a knight on the centre square would have 8 possible moves. Draw

a 5 by 5 grid and put "8" in the middle square. Fill in the other squares with the number of

moves that a knight would have from that square.

3. Draw a 5 by 5 chessboard. Put a "0" in the top left corner square. Imagine a knight there.

Put a "1" in all the squares that it can reach in 1 go, a "2" in all the squares that it can

reach in a minimum of 2 goes, etc, until all the squares are filled in. Which squares take

the longest to reach?

K. Digital Displays

_

_ _

_ _ _ _ _

|_| | |_ _| | _| |_| | |_| _|

Make a table showing how many lines are used for each digit.

While changing from 0 to 1, four bars are turned off. No new ones are turned on. Make a

table of what happens as the digits change

ON OFF

0->1 0

1->2

...

9->0

Add up the "OFF" and the "ON" columns. What do you notice?

L. Palindromes

1. A car milometer shows 15951. After 2 hours it shows another palindromic number. How

fast was the car going on average?

2. Pick a 2 digit number. Reverse it then add to the original number. Have you got a

palindrome? If not then repeat the process. Try all the 2 digit numbers (as a class activity)

(from Mathematical Bafflers).

REFERENCE: http://www2.eng.cam.ac.uk/~tpl/maths/puzzles.html

These puzzles (most of them old classics) from various sources can be used with pupils

who finish classwork early. Most of the questions were chosen with enthusiastic, bright

early teenagers in mind.

Some of the puzzles are also appropriate for class work - an initial worked example on the

board will help a lot.

There are a few trick questions. Some questions can be quickly answered if you chance

upon the right approach, but the 'long' solution isn't too arduous. Several of the questions

are best answered by writing a computer program. Some are shown here.

A. Scales and Vessels

1. How can you measure out exactly 4 litres of water from a tap using a 3 litre and a 5 litre

bucket?

Ans

3litre 5litre

----- -----0

2. A 24 litre bucket is full of lemonade. 3 people want to have equal amounts of it to take

home, but they only have a 13 litre, a 5 litre and an 11 litre bucket. How do they do it?

Ans

24 13 11 5

---------24 0 0 0

11 13 0 0

6 13 0 5

6 2 11 5

8 0 11 5

8 5 11 0

8 13 3 0

8 8 35

8 8 80

3. A Queen (78kg), the Prince (36kg) and the King (42kg) are stuck at the top of a tower. A

pulley is fixed to the top of the tower. Over the pulley is a rope with a basket on each end.

One basket has a 30kg stone in it. The baskets are enough for 2 people or 1 person and

the stone. For safety's sake there can't be more than a 6kg difference between the weights

of the baskets if someone's inside. How do the people all escape?

Ans

Basket 1

Basket 2

--------------------Stone up

Prince down

nothing up Stone down

Queen down Stone and King up

nothing up Stone down

Prince down Stone up

nothing up Stone down

King down Prince up

Stone up

Prince down

4. One of 9 otherwise identical balls is overweight. How can it be identified after 2 weighings

with an old balance?

Ans: Weigh 3 against 3, then you'll know which group of 3 contains the heavy ball. Pick 2

balls from that group and weigh one against the other.

5. One of 27 otherwise identical balls is overweight. How can it be identified after 3

weighings with an old balance?

Ans: Weigh 9 against 9, then 3 against 3.

6. How many ways can you put 10 sweets into 3 bags so that each bag contains an odd

number of sweets?

Ans 15 solutions. The first trick is to realise that if you put one bag inside another, then

sweets in the inner bag are also in the outer bag. The only workable configuration is to put

one bag inside another and leave the third alone. The answers can be obtained using the

following octave script, where bag b is inside bag a

for a=0:10

for b=0:(10-a)

c=10-a-b;

if (rem((a+b),2)==1 && rem(b,2)==1 && rem(c,2)==1)

fprintf('a=%d b=%d c=%d\n',a,b,c)

end

end

end

B. Ferries

1. A farmer has to take a hen, a fox, and some corn across a river. The farmer can only take

one thing across at a time. Unless the farmer's present the fox will eat the hen and the

hen eat the corn. How is it done?

Ans

<- FARMER

FARMER AND FOX ->

<- FARMER AND HEN

FARMER AND CORN ->

<- FARMER

FARMER AND HEN ->

2. 3 missionaries and 3 obediant but hungry cannibals have to cross a river using a 2-man

rowing boat. If on either bank cannibals outnumber missionaries the missionaries will be

eaten. How can everyone cross safely?

Ans

CANNIBAL and MISSIONARY ->

<- MISSIONARY

CANNIBAL and CANNIBAL ->

<- CANNIBAL

MISSIONARY and MISSIONARY ->

<- CANNIBAL and MISSIONARY

MISSIONARY and MISSIONARY ->

<- CANNIBAL

CANNIBAL and CANNIBAL ->

<- CANNIBAL

CANNIBAL and CANNIBAL ->

3. 2 men and 2 boys need to cross a river in a boat big enough for 1 man or 2 boys. How do

they do it?

Ans

BOY and BOY ->

<- BOY

MAN ->

<- BOY

BOY and BOY ->

<- BOY

MAN ->

<- BOY

BOY and BOY ->

SMP and CSE 1974 extend this to cover the case of n men.

C. Picking Captains

1. 6 girls pick a captain by forming a circle then eliminating every n'th girl. The 2nd girl in the

counting order can choose n. If she wants to be captain what's the smallest n she should

pick?

Ans: 10

2. 12 black mice and 1 white mouse are in a ring. Where should a cat start so that if he eats

every 13th mouse the white mouse will be last?

Ans: If the white mouse is 1st in the counting order, the cat should start at the 7th mouse :

hint - start anywhere, see how far out you are, then make the necessary correction

3. 20 passengers are in a sinking ship. 10 are mathematicians. They all stand in a ring. Every

7th climbs into the lifeboat which can only hold 10 people. Where should the

mathematicians stand in the ring?

Ans: 1 4 5 7 8 9 14 15 16 17

4. 30 passengers are in a sinking ship. They all stand in a circle. Every 9th passenger goes

overboard. The lifeboat holds 15. Where are the 15 lucky positions in the circle?

Ans: 1 2 3 4 10 11 13 14 15 17 20 21 25 28 29

The last of these questions can be answered using the following octave script

howmanyatstart=30;

howmanyatend=15;

first=1;

leap=9;

x=first-1;

a=1:howmanyatstart;

while (length(a)>howmanyatend)

x=rem(x+leap,length(a));

a(x+1)=[];

end

a

By changing the initial values in this script you can solve questions 2 and 3. Here's

the Python solution

howmanyatstart=30

howmanyatend=15

first=0

leap=9

x=first

a=range(1,howmanyatstart+1)

while len(a)>howmanyatend:

x=(x+leap)%len(a)

del a[x]

for i in range(0,len(a)):

print a[i]

D. Incomplete Sums

Some worked examples are in J.A.H. Hunter's "Mathematical Brain Teasers".

1. Each letter represents a different digit

SEND

+MORE

----MONEY

2. This sum uses all the digits

28*

+**4

---****

Ans: 289+764 = 1053

3. This subtraction sum uses all the digits from 1 to 9.

9**

-*4*

----**1

Ans:927 - 346 = 581

4. O represents odd digits E represents even digits

EEO

xOO

----EOEO

EOO

----OOOOO

Ans: 285x39

5. P represents prime digits

PPP

xPP

----PPPP

PPPP

----PPPPP

Ans: 775x33

6. Some more additions

o

THE

TEN

MEN

----

MEET

Ans: 490+407+107=1004

SLOW

SLOW

OLD

----

OWLS

Ans: 4712

SAL

SEE

THE

SUEZ

-----

CANAL

Ans: 920+977+547+9876=12320

FIVE

FIVE

NINE

ELEVEN

------

THIRTY

Ans: 4027+4027+5057+797275

7. What 5 digit number (where the digits are all different and none of them is zero) multiplied

by 4 gives an answer where the digits are those of the original number but in reverse

order?

So

ABCDE * 4 = EDCBA

Let's start at the ends.

o

o

o

o

o

o

o

o

o

A can only be 1 or 2, because A*4 < 10. E*4 divided by 10 must leave a remainder

of A. It can't leave a remainder of 1, so A=2

2BCDE * 4 = EDCB2

If E*4 divided by 10 leaves a remainder of 2, then E has to be 3 or 8. The E on the

right-hand side must be 8 or 9. Putting those 2 constraints together, E=8

2BCD8 * 4 = 8DCB2

B*4 must be < 10. If it was more, then the first digit of the right-hand side wouldn't

be 8. B can't be 2 because we've used that already. So B=1

21CD8 * 4 = 8DC12

To get the 1 that's on the right-hand side, D*4+3 when divided by 10 must leave a

remainder of 1. D can't be 2 (2 has been used already) so D=7

21C78 * 4 = 87C12

4*C +3 when divided by 10 must give the answer 3 and a remainder C, so C=9

So the answer's 21978

The following C++ code might help with the other problems

#include <vector>

#include <iostream>

#include <cstdlib>

#include <algorithm>

using namespace std;

//

THE +

//

TEN +

//

MEN

//

----

//

MEET

//

// To solve a problem

// * List the words in the thewords variable

// * Set the leadingzeroesallowed, digitsunique, findallsolutions variables to true or

false,

// depending of what you want.

// * Change the first line of the check routine to match the calculation.

//

//

if (eval(thewords[0],v) + eval(thewords[1],v) + eval(thewords[2],v) ==

eval(thewords[3],v)) {

//

// The code's not designed to be fast or easy to read, It solves

// THE + TEN + MEN = MEET almost instantly. SEND + MORE = MONEY takes over

a minute.

bool leadingzeroesallowed=false;

bool digitsunique=true;

bool findallsolutions=false;

string all="";

int numberofwords;

void initialise() {

numberofwords=sizeof(thewords)/sizeof(*thewords);

for (int i=0;i<numberofwords;i++)

all=all+thewords[i];

sort(all.begin(), all.end());

all.resize( it - all.begin() );

}

int i=s.length();

int factor=1;

int sum=0;

while(i--) {

for (int j=0;j<all.length();j++)

if(s[i]==all[j]){

sum=sum+factor*v[j];

break;

}

factor=factor*10;

}

return sum;

}

void check(vector<int>v) {

//The next line may need changing

if (eval(thewords[0],v) + eval(thewords[1],v) + eval(thewords[2],v) ==

eval(thewords[3],v)) {

if(digitsunique) {

vector<int>v2=v;

sort(v2.begin(), v2.end());

v2.resize( it - v2.begin() );

if (v2.size() != v.size())

return;

}

if(not leadingzeroesallowed) {

for (int j=0;j<all.length();j++) {

for (int k=0;j<numberofwords;j++)

if(thewords[k][0]==all[j]){

if (v[j]==0)

return;

}

}

}

cout << "Answer!" << endl;

for (int i=0; i<v.size() ; i++) {

cout << all[i] << " = " << v[i] << endl;

}

if (not findallsolutions)

exit(0);

}

}

void recurse(vector<int>v) {

if (v.size()== all.length())

check(v);

else

for (int i=0;i<10;i++){

vector<int>v2=v;

v2.push_back(i);

recurse(v2);

}

}

int main() {

vector<int> v;

initialise();

for (int i=0;i<10;i++){

v.clear();

v.push_back(i);

recurse(v);

}

}

E. Letters

Agree on a font of capital letters.

There is only one number whose English name uses as many straight lines to write as the

number itself.

Think of a number. Write it out in words. Write in words the number of letters you've used

(E.g. SIXTEEN-SEVEN-FIVE-FOUR). Continue do so and see what happens. Try 3 other

numbers. You always end at FOUR. In german you end up at VIER.

F. Numbers

1. Alan, Bill and Chris dug up 9 nuggets. Their weights were 154, 16, 19, 101, 10, 17, 13, 46

and 22 kgs. They took 3 each. Alan's weighed twice as much as Bill's. How heavy were

Chris's nuggets?

Ans: 272. Here's some octave code

nuggets=[154, 16, 19, 101, 10, 17, 13, 46 22];

alan=nchoosek(1:9,3);

[r c]=size(alan);

for i=1:r

alanchoice=alan(i,:);

indices=1:9;

indices(alanchoice)=[];

bill=nchoosek(1:6,3);

[r2 c2]=size(bill);

for j=1:r2

billchoice=indices(bill(j,:));

newindices=1:6;

newindices(bill(j,:))=[];

chrischoice=indices(newindices);

if (sum(nuggets(alanchoice))==2*sum(nuggets(billchoice)))

sum(nuggets(chrischoice))

end

end

end

2. The product of 3 sisters' ages is 175. Two are twins. How old is the other one?

Ans: 7

3. A person has 2 bankcards, each with a 4 digit number. The 1st number is 4 times the 2nd.

The 1st number is the reverse of the 2nd. What is the first number?

Ans: 8712. You could use trial and error. The smaller number must start with a 1 or a 2

(otherwise the bigger number would have 5 digits) so the bigger number must end with 1

or 2. Actually, it has to be 2, because the bigger number must be a multiple of 4.

Consequently the numbers are 2**8 and 8**2. The digit after the 2 has to be small

(because 4 times the number is less than 10).

Alternatively, here's an Octave program

for a=0:9

for b=0:9

for c=0:9

for d=0:9

number1=1000*a+100*b+10*c+d;

number2=1000*d+100*c+10*b+a;

if (number1 == 4*number2)

disp(number1)

end

end

end

end

end

4. Tom has 7 sandwiches, Jan has 5, Simon has none. They share them out equally. Simon

leaves, paying for his sandwiches by leaving 12 biscuits. What's the fairest way for Tom

and Jan to share out the biscuits?

Ans: 3 to Jan

5. A cyclist buys a cycle for 15 pounds paying with a 25 pound cheque. The seller changes

the cheque next door and gives the cyclist 10 pounds change. The cheque bounces so the

seller paid his neighbour back. The cycle cost the seller 11 pounds. How much did the

seller lose?

Ans: 21 pounds?

6. Using four "4"s and common symbols (including the square root, factorial and recurring

decimal symbols), make sums whose answers are 0, 1, 2....100 (See Mathematical

Bafflers)

7. Make fractions (each using all the digits from 1 to 9) with these values 1/2, 1/3....1/9

Ans:

6729/13458, 5823/17469, 3942/15768, 2697/13485, 2943/17658,

2394/16758, 3187/25496, 6381/57429

8. A greengrocer was selling apples at a penny each, bananas at 2 for a penny and pears at 3

for a penny. A shopper spent 7p and got the same amount (greater than 0) of each type of

fruit for each of their 3 children. What did each child get?

Ans: 1 apple, 2 bananas and 1 pear.

9. A woman bought something costing 34c. She only had 3 coins: $1, 2c and 3c. The

shopkeeper had only 2 coins: 25c and 50c. Fortunately another customer had 2 10c coins,

a 5c coin, 2 2c coin and a 1c coin. How did they sort things out?

Ans: They pool the money. The woman takes 71 (50 + 10 + 10 + 1), the shopkeeper takes

109 (100 + 5 + 2 + 2) and the customer 30 (25 + 3 + 2).

10.Mr and Mrs A are 120 km apart. A bee is on Mr A's nose. The couple cycle towards each

other, Mr A at 25km/h and Mrs A and 15km/h. The bee dashes from Mr A's nose to Mrs A's

nose and back again and so on at 60km/h. How far does the bee travel before the cyclists

crash?

Ans: The cyclists crash after 3 hours so the bee flies 180km.

11.Pick a number. If it's even, divide by 2. If it's odd multiply by 3 and add 1. Continue this

until you reach "1". Eg 3-10-5-16-8-4-2-1. Which integer less than 100 produces the

longest chain?

Ans: 97 leads to a 119 link chain. The lowest number that causes a long chain is 27 (112

links).

12.Pick a number. Multiply the digits together. Continue until you get a single digit. What is

the only 2 digit number which would require more than 3 multiplication?

Ans: 77

13.Starting with 1, place each integer in one of 2 groups so that neither contains a 3 term

Arithmetic Progression. How far can you go?

Ans: Up to 8.

14.The following 2 questions use the following result - "Given integers a and b the biggest

number that can't be expressed in the form ia + jb is ab - a - b."

o

Apples are packed in boxes of 8 and 15. What is the biggest number of apples that

would require loose apples?

Ans: 97

A country only has 5p and 7p coins. Make a list of prices that you could give exact

money for. What is the highest prices that you couldn't give exact money for?

Ans: 23

15.If D = the day (1-366) in year Y, then the day of the week can be calculated using

16. d = D+Y+(Y-1)/4 - (Y-1)/100 + (Y-1)/400 mod7

where d=1 would mean Sunday, etc. Can the first day of each century (e.g. 1st Jan

2001, 1st Jan 1901) be any day?

Ans: No. Just Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday. See "Mathematical Bafflers"

17.Pick 3 digits (not zero) and make 6 2-digit numbers from them. Add up all these numbers,

add up all the original digits and divide the first total by the second.

Ans: 22

18.How many presents did the "true love" send during the 12 days of Christmas?

Ans: 364

19.

At a fairground stall there are 3 piles of cans. You get 3 throws. You can only knock

off the top can of a pile. The 2nd throw counts double, the 3rd triple. How do you

get exactly 50?

Ans: 7, 8, 9

20.If you add the digits in the 1st, 3rd, 5th etc positions of a natural number, and get the

same total as you get by summing the other digits, the number is exactly divisible by 11.

For example, 17248 is a multiple of 11 because 1+2+8 equals 7+4. But the opposite isn't

true - there are multiples of 11 for which the sums don't match. What's the smallest

natural number for which this is so?

Here's a C++ solution

#include <iostream>

#include <sstream>

#include <string>

using namespace std;

int main() {

string s;

for (long num=11;num<10000;num+=11) {

std::ostringstream o;

if (o << num)

s=o.str();

else

s="";

int odds=0;

int evens=0;

for (int i=0;i<s.length();i++)

if (i%2)

evens+=s[i]-'0';

else

odds+=s[i]-'0';

if (odds!=evens) {

cout << num << " is a multiple of 11, but " << odds << " !=" << evens << endl;

break;

}

}

}

Enumerations

1. Holding its hands out, palms upward a child starts counting on all its fingers and thumbs,

going to and fro. If it counts up to 1982 which finger does counting end on?

Ans: (middle finger is 3 or 7 (mod8)).

2. You have 3 bricks, each measuring 18 x 9 x 6 cm. How many different heights can you

build up with them?

Ans: 10. A solution in Octave is

length(unique(sum(nchoosek([18 18 18 9 9 9 6 6 6] ,3),2)))

3. How many right-angled triangles with integral sides have one side of 15?

Ans

9, 12, 15

15, 20, 25

15 112 113

8 15 17

15 36 39

4. Minibuses seating 10, 12 and 15 passengers can be used to convey 120 passengers. There

are 5 of each size of bus. How many different ways can the buses be used so that all the

ones used are full? Which way uses the least buses?

Ans

10 12 15

-------3 5 2

4 3 3

5 4

5. Roosters cost 5 pounds, hens 3 pounds and 3 chicks cost 1 pound. Buying at least one of

each type of bird how can you buy 100 birds for exactly 100 pounds?

Ans

Rooster Hen Chick

4

18 78

11 81

12

4 84

6. A woman puts 120p on the counter. "some 4p stamps, 6 times as many 2p stamps and the

rest in 5p stamps please". What does she need?

Ans: 5 4p's.

7. A cube is painted white and cut into 27 small cubes. How many of these little cubes are

painted on i) 1, ii) 2, iii) 3, iv) 0 sides?

See SMP E for answers and developments

Geometry

1. 9 geraniums have to be planted so that there are 3 plants in each row. How can they be

planted so that there are a) 8 b) 9 c) 10 lines.

Ans:

2.

o

How many straight lines of unique lengths can you draw from dot to dot?

Ans: 5

Ans: 8

Miscellaneous

1. I have some square tiles. Half of them are black and the other ones are white. I arrange

them so that the black ones form a rectangle and the white ones make a border around

them one tile thick. I have no tiles left over. How many tiles do I have?

2. A man buys 5 cigarettes a day for 25 days. He keeps the stubs. From 5 stubs he made a

new cigarette. How many cigarettes does he smoke during this period?

3. The bacteria in a test-tube double each minute. It is full in one hour. When was it half full?

Ans: 59 mins.

4. In a knockout with 39 players, how many games are played?

Ans: 39-1

5. In a knockout with 39 players, how many byes?

Ans: 3 (find 2**n such that 2**n>39 then express 2n-39 in base 2 and count 1's in the

binary number)

6. A necklace is made from 4 chains each of 3 links. It costs 1p to cut a link and 2p to

resolder it. How can a necklace be made for 9p?

Ans: Cut one chain into 3 links. Use these to connect up the rest.

7. If a crocus costs 8p, a tulip 7p and a daffodil 11p, how much does a hyacinth cost?

Hint: count the vowels and consonants

9.

In 3 moves (each move consisting of turning over a pair of adjacent coins), arrange

the coins so that Heads and Tails alternate.

Ans: Swop 3 and 4, 4 and 5, then 2 and 3

10.Town A and town B are 99 km apart. There are 98 km posts between them. On each post is

the distance to A and the distance to B. On how many posts are only 2 different digits

used? (for example, the post that says 'A 33, B 66' only uses 2 digits).

From SMP. 18 posts: 11, 18, 22, 27, 33, 36, 44, 45...

11.Clocks o

A clock goes at the right speed, but backwards. How many times each week does it

tell the right time?

Knights

1.

If you follow the jumps of a chess knight from word to word you can make a 20 word

sentence about the ages of Sue and Sal. Sue is in her teens, so how old is Sal?

Ans: Start at Sal in the bottom row. Sal is 8 (thanks to Jenny Leppington-Clark for

discussing this puzzle, and thanks to Sweta Singh for pointing out the right answer).

The sentence is "SAL IS NOW HALF AS OLD AS SUE WAS WHEN SAL WAS A THIRD AS

OLD AS SUE IS NOW". So let's create some variables - SueNow and SalNow are the

ages now, and SueThen and SalThen are the ages X years ago. Then

SalNow = SueThen/2

and

SalThen = SueNow/3.

Also

SueNow = SueThen + X

SalNow = SalThen + X

Substituting, we get

SalThen + X = SueThen/2

and

SalThen = (SueThen + X)/3

Subtracting, we get

X = SueThen/2 - SueThen/3 - X/3

so

4X/3 = SueThen/6

and hence

8X = SueThen

So, assuming X is an integer and Sue is now a teenager, X=2 and SueThen will be

16. That makes SueNow 18 and SalNow 8.

2. On a 5 by 5 chessboard, a knight on the centre square would have 8 possible moves. Draw

a 5 by 5 grid and put "8" in the middle square. Fill in the other squares with the number of

moves that a knight would have from that square.

3. Draw a 5 by 5 chessboard. Put a "0" in the top left corner square. Imagine a knight there.

Put a "1" in all the squares that it can reach in 1 go, a "2" in all the squares that it can

reach in a minimum of 2 goes, etc, until all the squares are filled in. Which squares take

the longest to reach?

Digital Displays

_

_ _

_ _ _ _ _

|_| | |_ _| | _| |_| | |_| _|

Make a table showing how many lines are used for each digit.

While changing from 0 to 1, four bars are turned off. No new ones are turned on. Make a

table of what happens as the digits change

ON OFF

0->1 0

1->2

...

9->0

Add up the "OFF" and the "ON" columns. What do you notice?

Palindromes

1. A car milometer shows 15951. After 2 hours it shows another palindromic number. How

fast was the car going on average?

2. Pick a 2 digit number. Reverse it then add to the original number. Have you got a

palindrome? If not then repeat the process. Try all the 2 digit numbers (as a class activity)

(from Mathematical Bafflers).

Ans

Sum of digits

1-9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Num of additions

1 2 1 2 2 3 3 6 24 6

REFERENCE: http://www2.eng.cam.ac.uk/~tpl/maths/puzzles.html

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