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1. There is a pole in a lake.

One-half of the pole is in the ground, another one-third of it


is covered by water, and 9 ft is out of the water. What is the total length of the pole in ft?
Solution 54
Fraction of pole in the ground = 1/2
Fraction of pole covered by water = 1/3
Fraction of pole in the ground and covered by water = 1/2 + 1/3 = (3 + 2)/6 = 5/6
Fraction of pole out of water = 1 - 5/6 = 1/6
Thus, one-sixth of the pole (out of water) is 9 ft.
So, total length of pole = 54 ft.
It may be noted that:
Length of pole in the ground = 54/2 = 27 ft.
Length of pole covered by water = 54/3 = 18 ft.
Length of pole out of water = 9 ft.
The problem may also be solved by setting up the following equation: x/2 + x/3 + 9 = x
where x denotes the total length of the pole in ft.
The equation may be solved as shown below.
5x/6 + 9 = x
9 = x - 5x/6 = x/6
x/6 = 9 or x = 54.
2. Each child in a family has at least 5 brothers and 4 sisters. What is the smallest number
of children the family might have?
Solution 11
If each boy in the family has at least 5 brothers, then the smallest number of boys is 6.
Similarly, if each girl in the family has at least 4 sisters, then the smallest number of girls
is 5.
Thus, the smallest number of children the family might have is 11.
3. A number of children are standing in a circle. They are evenly spaced and the 6th child
is directly opposite the 19th child. How many children are there altogether?
Solution 26
The 6th child is directly opposite the 19th child.
Since 19 - 6 = 13, there are 13 children in half the circle.
(Note that half the circle includes one child out of the 6th child and the 19th child.)
Thus, there are 26 children altogether in the full circle.

Food for thought:


Is it critical that the children be evenly spaced in the circle?
Is it critical where the counting of the children begins from?
4. If you were to construct a 7 x 7 checkered square (i.e., a 7 x 7 chess board), how many
squares would there be in total?
Solution 140
The following table shows the number of different types of squares on a 7 x 7
chessboard:
Type of square Number of squares
7x7

6x6

5x5

4x4

16

...

...

1x1

49

So, total number of squares = 12 + 22 + 32 + 42 + ... + 72 = 140.


To gain a better understandstanding, consider the 8 x 8 chessboard (see animation above).
Note that there is one 8 x 8 square, four 7 x 7 squares, and so on.
5. In the above figure, the rectangle at the corner measures 7 cm x 14 cm. What is the
radius of the circle in cm?
Solution 35
Using Pythagoras' Theorem (see Hint above)
for the right-angled triangle in the figure alongside,
(r - a)2 + (r - b)2 = r2
Now, a = 7 cm and b = 14 cm. So,
(r - 7)2 + (r - 14)2 = r2 or
r2 - 2(7)r + 72 + r2 - 2(14)r + 142 = r2. This simplifies to
r2 - 42r + 245 = 0. On factorizing, we get
(r - 35)(r - 7) = 0.
Thus, the radius of the circle is 35 cm.
Food for thought:

In the above solution,


(r - 35)(r - 7) = 0.
Thus, r = 35 cm. The other possibility (r = 7 cm) is rejected. Why?
Is the following reasoning valid?
r - b = 7 - 14 = -7 cm. No negative dimension is allowed.
6. Ann purchased a house for $ 165438. She wants to sell it for a profit of exactly 14%.
However, she does not want to sell it herself. She wants a Real Estate Agent to sell it for
her. The Agent must make a commission of exactly 5.7% (in addition to Ann's 14%
profit). How much must the Agent sell the house for? Give your answer to the nearest
dollar.
Solution 200000
The Agent must sell Ann's house for $ 200000.
The Agent gets $ 11400 as commission (i.e., 0.057 x 200000).
Ann gets (including profit) $ 188600, i.e., 200000 - 11400.
It may be noted that: (188600 - 165438) / 165438 x 100 = 14%.
Importantly, profit is calculated on purchase cost (by Ann) and commission is calculated
on selling price (by the Agent).
The problem may also be solved by setting up the following equation:
Purchase Cost + Ann's Profit + Agent's Commission = Selling Price
165438 + (14/100) 165438 + (5.7/100) S = S
where S is the Selling Price in $.
The equation may be solved as shown below.
188600 + 0.057 S = S
S = 188600 / (1 - 0.057) = 200000.
7. Divide $1074 (in whole $ increments) into a number of bags so that I can ask for any
amount between $1 and $1074, and you can give me the proper amount by giving me a
certain number of these bags without opening them. What is the minimum number of
bags you will require?
Solution 11
You divide $1074 (in whole $ increments) into 11 bags as follows:
1, 2, 4, 8, 16, ... , 512, 51.
The first 10 bags contain a total of $1023 as per the following series:
20, 21, 22, 23, 24, ... , 29.

To gain a better understanding, consider the simple case where $12 needs to be divided
into a number of bags.
You divide $12 into 4 bags as follows: 1, 2, 4, 5. Then,
If I ask for $:

1 2

10

11

12

You give $:

1 2 1+2 4 4+1 4+2 4+2+1 5+2+1 5+4 5+4+1 5+4+2 5+4+2+1

8. there were a total of 10 bicycles and tricycles. If the total number of wheels was 24 ,
how many tricycles were there
Solution 24
Assuming 2 wheels for each cycle, 10 cycles will have 20 wheels. But, there are 24 20 = 4 extra wheels.
As bicycles have 2 wheels and tricycles have 3 wheels, there is 1 extra wheel per tricycle
in the park. Thus, the 4 extra wheels belong to 4 tricycles.
9. Mr. Brown has 6 black gloves and 10 brown gloves in his closet. He blindly picks up
some gloves from the closet. What is the minimum number of gloves Mr. Brown will
have to pick to be certain to find a pair of gloves of the same color?
Solution 3
To find a pair, Mr. Brown must pick at least 2 gloves. But, if he picks 2 gloves blindly,
then they may be of different colors. If he picks 3 gloves blindly, then there are only 2
possibilities: all 3 gloves are of the same color, or 2 gloves are of the same color and 1 is
of a different color. Both these possibilities guarantee Mr. Brown a pair of gloves of the
same color. Thus, Mr. Brown should minimally pick 3 gloves to be certain to find a pair
of gloves of the same color.
Food for thought:
Would the problem change significantly if the word "gloves" was replaced by "shoes" in
the problem statement? Does it matter that there are "left" and "right" shoes?
Suppose the problem statement was modified to read:
What is the minimum number of gloves Mr. Brown will have to pick to be certain to find
a pair of black gloves (rather than simply gloves of the same color)? Is the minimum
number still 3?
10. Man Wrinkle spent one-fourth of his life as a boy, one-eighth as a youth, and one-half
as an active man. If Man Wrinkle spent 10 years as an old man, then how many years did
he spend as an active man?

Soluion 40
Fraction of life as a boy = 1/4
Fraction of life as a youth = 1/8
Fraction of life as an active man = 1/2
Fraction of life as boy, youth and active man = 1/4 + 1/8 + 1/2 = (2 + 1 + 4)/8 = 7/8
Fraction of life as an old man = 1 - 7/8 = 1/8
Thus, one-eighth of Man Wrinkle's life (as an old man) is 10 years.
So, Man Wrinkle's Age = 80 years.
It may be noted that:
Life as boy = 80/4 = 20 years.
Life as youth = 80/8 = 10 years.
Life as active man = 80/2 = 40 years.
Life as old man = 80/8 = 10 years.
The problem may also be solved by setting up the following equation: a/4 + a/8 + a/2 +
10 = a
where a denotes Man Wrinkle's age in years.
The equation may be solved as shown below.
7a/8 + 10 = a
10 = a - 7a/8 = a/8
a/8 = 10 or a = 80.
Therefore, life spent as active man = 80/2 = 40 years.
11. Haretown and Tortoiseville are 33 miles apart. A hare travels at 10 miles per hour
from Haretown to Tortoiseville, while a tortoise travels at 1 miles per hour from
Tortoiseville to Haretown.
If both set out at the same time, how many miles will the hare have to travel before
meeting the tortoise en route?
Solution 30
The hare and the tortoise are together covering the distance at 11 miles per hour (i.e., on
adding their speeds).
So, they will cover the distance of 33 miles in 3 hours.
Thus, in 3 hours, they will meet and the hare will have traveled 30 miles.
Alternative Solution through Equations:
Note that : Distance = Speed x Time

Let t be the time before the hare and the tortoise meet.
In t hours, the hare will travel 10 t miles.
In t hours, the tortoise will travel 1 t miles.
Now,
10 t + 1 t = 33
So, t = 33 / 11 = 3 hours.
Thus, distance traveled by hare before meeting = 10 x 3 = 30 miles.
12 A painting job can be completed by 5 painters in 22 days. If 15 more painters join
the team 6 days after starting work on the job, then how many more days are required to
complete the job?
Solution 4
Total effort required by 5 painters for 22 days = 5 x 22 = 110 man-days.
Initial effort by 5 painters for 6 days = 5 x 6 = 30 man-days.
Job still requires 110 - 30 = 80 man-days, and there are 20 painters available to do it.
Additional effort required by 20 painters for 80 man-days = 80 / 20 = 4 days.
Thus, 4 more days are required to complete the painting job.
Food for thought:
The number of days for the job is inversely proportional to the number of painters. So, is
"number of days x number of painters = constant"?
What assumptions were made to arrive at the solution?
Is something assumed about the output of the painters?
13 A snail creeps 7 ft up a wall during the daytime. After all the labor it does throughout
the day, it stops to rest a while... but falls asleep!! The next morning it wakes up and
discovers that it has slipped down 3 ft while sleeping.
If this happens every day, how many days will the snail take to reach the top of a wall 31
ft in height?
Solution 7
On the first day, the snail climbs up 7 ft and slips down 3 ft while sleeping. So, next
morning, it is 4 ft from where it started. The snail thus travels 4 ft upwards every day.
Therefore, in 6 days, it has traveled a distance of 24 ft from the bottom.

Here lies the catch to the problem! On the last day, the snail travels 7 ft upwards and
hence reaches the top of the wall in a total of 7 days.
14 Your teacher has a total of 36 chalks. When a chalk reduces to 1/6 of its original size,
it gets too small for her to hold for writing and hence she keeps it aside. But your teacher
hates wasting things and so, when she realizes that she has enough of these small pieces
to join and make another chalk of the same size, she joins them and uses the new
chalkstick. If she uses one chalk each day, how many days would the 36 chalks last?
Solution 43
Your teacher uses one chalk each day. Hence the total number of days she uses 36 chalks
is 36. Each chalk leaves a fraction of 1/6 its size... so 36 such fractions remain. Since 6
such fractions are joined to give a new chalk, your teacher combines all the fractions to
get 6 chalks which can again be used for 6 days. Hence, she has managed to use
36 chalks for 36 + 6 days!
But, what about the leftovers of the chalks used over the last 6 days?? They can be joined
to form yet another chalk... which means another day! So, your teacher uses the 36
chalks for a total of 43 days.
Food for thought:
Does the teacher actually use one chalk each day or 5/6 each day? Is there any ambiguity
(or lack of clarity) in the problem statement? Interpreting the question posed is an
important first step in problem-solving. Re-reading the problem statement often helps!
15. A pillar 6 feet tall casts a shadow 2 feet long on the ground. If the pillar was 21 feet
tall, how many feet in length would the shadow be ?
Solution 7
The lengths of the shadows are to one another as the heights of the pillars. Thus,
Length of the shadow for a pillar 21 feet tall
= (21 / 6) x 2 = 7 feet.
Food for thought:
What other factor(s) does the length of a shadow depend on? Does the time of the day or
the position of the sun determine the length of the shadow?
16A 30" x 30" square metal plate needs to be fixed by a carpenter on to a wooden board.
The carpenter uses nails all along the edges of the square such that there are 31 nails on
each side of the square. Each nail is at the same distance from the neighboring nails. How
many nails does the carpenter use?

Solution 120
The four corners of the square have one nail each.
Each side of the square now requires 29 nails (excluding the four corners).
Thus, Total number of nails used = 4 + (4 x 29) = 120.
Food for thought:
What if the metal plate is in the shape of a regular polygon (e.g., pentagon, hexagon,
heptagon, octagon, etc.)? Try generalizing the above result to the case of a regular
polygon.
Is the information that the square is 30" x 30" required? It is important in real-world
problem-solving to recognize information that is "extra" or "missing".
17 Suppose 8 monkeys take 8 minutes to eat 8 bananas.
(a) How many minutes would it take 4 monkeys to eat 4 bananas?
(b) How many monkeys would it take to eat 32 bananas in 32 minutes?
Solutions 8 and 8
a) It would take 8 minutes for 4 monkeys to eat 4 bananas; and
(b) it would take 8 monkeys 32 minutes to eat 32 bananas.
Food for thought:
What assumptions are made in arriving at the solution?
Does one assume that 8 monkeys take 1 minute to eat 1 banana and that all bananas are
consumed at the same pace?
Or does one assume that 1 monkey takes 8 minutes to eat 1 banana and that all monkeys
eat at the same pace?
Think over it!!!
18
Teacher: You appeared for 6 quizzes, and your average marks in them were 85.
Student: How did I fare in English?
Teacher: Well, your average in English Language and English Literature is 79.

Student: So, how was my performance in the remaining subjects?


Teacher: I am sure you can figure that out for yourself.
Can you help the student find his average marks in the remaining subjects?
Solution 88
Total marks in 6 subjects = 6 x 85 = 510.
Total marks in 2 English subjects = 2 x 79 = 158.
Total marks in remaining 4 subjects = 510 - 158 = 352.
Average marks in remaining 4 subjects = 352 / 4 = 88.
19 It was Cheryl's first day at school. The teacher suggested that it would be a good idea
for each child to meet every other child in the class. The teacher said, "When you meet,
please shake hands and introduce yourself by name."
If there were 12 children in the class, how many total handshakes were there?
Solution 66
The class has 12 children. The first child shakes hands with the other 11 children. The
second child has already shaken hands with the first child, and so has to shake hands with
only the other 10 children. In this manner, the second-last child has to shake hands with
only one child, and the last child has already met all the children. Thus, the number of
handshakes is
11 + 10 + ........ + 2 + 1 = 66.
If there were 12 children in the class, then there were 66 total handshakes.
Food for thought:
It is obviously assumed that each child shakes hands with every other child once and only
once.
More importantly, is there a quick way to add
11 + 10 + ........ + 2 + 1 ?
Indeed, there is! It simply equals 11 x 12 / 2. Can you show why such a formula holds?
20 The distance between Station Atena and Station Barcena is 78 miles. A train starts
from Atena towards Barcena. A bird starts at the same time from Barcena straight towards
the moving train. On reaching the train, it instantaneously turns back and returns to
Barcena. The bird makes these journeys from Barcena to the train and back to Barcena

continuously till the train reaches Barcena. The bird finally returns to Barcena and rests.
Calculate the total distance in miles the bird travels in the following two cases:
(a) the bird flies at 70 miles per hour and the speed of the train is 60 miles per hour
(b) the bird flies at 60 miles per hour and the speed of the train is 70 miles per hour
Solution (a) 91 (b) 72
Case (a): Bird flies at a speed greater than that of the train
The train (at a speed of 60 miles per hour) travels 60 miles in 60 minutes.
Therefore, the train travels from Atena to Barcena (78 miles) in 78 minutes.
Importantly, the bird makes the journeys continuously back and forth for this same
amount of time (namely, 78 minutes).
Thus, the total distance traveled by the bird
= 70 miles per hour x 78 minutes = 70 x 78 / 60 miles = 91 miles.
Case (b): Bird flies at a speed less than that of the train
In 36 minutes, the bird travels 36 miles, the train travels 42 miles, and the two meet.
Now, the train (which is traveling at a speed greater than that of the bird) will reach
Barcena before the bird.
So, the bird simply returns to Barcena (a return journey of 36 miles).
Thus, the total distance traveled by the bird is 72 miles.
Food for thought:
How many journeys back and forth does the bird make in Case (a)?
Would the distances in these back and forth journeys form an infinite series with a finite
sum?
Wish to try a simple puzzle similar in concept to Case (b)?
21Last vacation, my cousin came over to stay at my home. We made the most of her stay
at my place... and I even earned a few chocolates.
Everyday, we would play a game of chess. Whoever lost the game owed a chocolate to
the other. After the last game we played (that was the day she was to leave), we counted
the number of games each of us had won and lost. Wow! I had won more than her. So,
she handed me 9 chocolates... though she herself was the winner in 12 games.
How many days did my cousin spend at my place?
Solution 33

My cousin won 12 games. Since I got 9 chocolates, I must have won 9 games more than
my cousin did. So, I won a total of 21 games.
Thus, the total number of games that we played was 33. Since we played a game each
day, that was the number of days my cousin stayed at my house!
22. A block of wood in the form of a cuboid 3" x 10" x 14" has all its six faces painted
pink. If the wooden block is cut into 420 cubes of 1" x 1" x 1", how many of these would
have pink paint on them?
Solution 324
The 1" x 1" x 1" cubes that do not have any pink paint on them will be at the core of the
wooden block. This core will be 1" x 8" x 12", and will contain 96 cubes.
Out of a total of 420 cubes, there are 96 cubes without any pink paint on them.
Therefore, the remaining 324 cubes will have one, two or three sides with pink paint on
them (depending on whether they were at the face, edge or corner of the wooden block).
Food for thought:
What if the wooden block was in the shape of a cube (a" x a" x a") rather than a cuboid?
Can you show that the number of cubes with paint on them is then given by a3 - (a - 2)3?
23 Dad, where had you been?" asked Paul.
"I had been to the attic, my son," replied Dad. "And do you know what I saw there? There
was a big web with 19 spiders and flies on it."
"How many spiders were there?" asked the little boy with curiosity.
"Well, there were a total of 130 legs on the web," answered Dad with a smile. "Now you
can find out how many spiders were there by yourself. Can't you?"
Can you help the little boy find out how many spiders were on the web in the attic?
Solution 8
Assuming 6 legs for each insect, 19 insects will have 114 legs.
But, there are 130 - 114 = 16 extra legs.
It is important to note that spiders have 8 legs and flies have 6 legs. So, there are 2 extra
legs per spider on the web.
Thus, the 16 extra legs belong to 8 spiders.
Alternative Solution through Equations:

Let s be the number of spiders and f be the number of flies. Then,


s + f = 19; and
8s + 6f = 130.
On solving the above two equations, we get
8s + 6 (19 - s) = 130; or
2s = 130 - (6 x 19).
Thus, s = 8.
24 There is a number that is 6 times the sum of its digits. What is this number?
Solution 54
The number is 54, simply because
54 = 6 (5 + 4).
How does one find this number?
Let t be the digit in the tens place and u be the digit in the units place. Then, the number
is 10 t + u, and the sum of its digits is t + u. The following equation can be readily
written:
10 t + u = 6 t + 6 u or
4 t = 5 u.
Thus, t / u = 5 / 4. Since t and u are digits, t must be 5 and u must be 4.
25 The drive from Oakland to Pinewood was a tricky one. I covered the uphill distance of
70 miles at 42 miles per hour. The return journey from Pinewood to Oakland was
downhill, and I managed to drive at 56 miles per hour. What was my average speed for
the entire journey?
Solution 48
It it important to note that
Average speed = Total distance / Total time.
Total distance = 2 x 70 miles.
Time for uphill journey (from Oakland to Pinewood) = 70 / 42 hours.
Time for downhill journey (from Pinewood to Oakland) = 70 / 56 hours.

Total time = (70 / 42) + (70 / 56) = 2 x 70 / 48 hours.


Average speed = Total distance / Total time = 48 miles per hour.
Food for thought:
The common mistake made in solving this problem is to assume the average speed to be
the arithmetic mean, i.e., (42 + 56)/ 2 = 49 miles per hour.
In this problem, the average speed is clearly not the arithmetic mean. Is it the geometric
mean, the harmonic mean or the logarithmic mean? Note the harmonic mean is given by
2 x 42 x 56 /(42 + 56).
In fact, the distance between Oakland and Pinewood need not be specified in the problem
statement. The average speed can be calculated without this piece of information.
26 A tennis championship is played on a knock-out basis, i.e., a player is out of the
tournament when he loses a match.
(a) How many players participate in the tournament if 63 matches are totally played?
(b) How many matches are played in the tournament if 74 players totally participate?
Solutions (a) 64 (b) 73
The matches in the championship may be visualized (starting backwards from the finals)
as follows:
Match

Total Matches

Total Players

Finals

1+2=3

1+2+4=7

Semi Finals
Quarter Finals

Pre-Quarter Finals 1 + 2 + 4 + 8 = 15

16

Note that half the players lose their matches at each stage and are out of the tournament.
More importantly, the above table shows that the total number of matches played is
always one less than the number of players participating in the tournament. This is
basically because all players except the champion have to lose one match.
One can now easily answer the two questions posed.
(a) If 63 matches are totally played, then 64 players participate in the tournament.

(b) If 74 players participate in the tournament, then 73 matches are totally played.
Food for thought:
How would you organize such a tennis tournament for an arbitrary number of players
(say, 19)? Do all players participate in the first round?
Think it over!!!
27 A rich merchant had collected many gold coins. He did not want anybody to know
about them. One day, his wife asked, "How many gold coins do we have?"
After pausing a moment, he replied, "Well! If I divide the coins into two unequal
numbers, then 30 times the difference between the two numbers equals the difference
between the squares of the two numbers."
The wife looked puzzled. Can you help the merchant's wife by finding out how many
gold coins they have?
Solution 30
The merchant has 30 gold coins.
It is easy to check this... Let's divide the 30 coins into two unequal numbers, say, 19 and
11. Then,
30 (19 - 11) = (19 x 19) - (11 x 11).
Food for thought:
Note that the 30 coins can be divided into any two unequal numbers, a and b, not
necessarily 19 and 11, so long as a + b = 30. Isn't that interesting?
The above problem is solved in a straightforward manner if one knows the following
formula:
a2 - b2 = (a + b) (a - b)
28 Ronald:
"When I add 5 times my age 5 years from now to 6 times my age 6 years from now, I
get 12 times my current age. How old will I be 2 years from now?
Solution 63
"Let x be my present age. My age 5 years from now will be x + 5, and 5 times that will
be 5 (x + 5). Similarly, my age 6 years from now will be x + 6, and 6 times that will be 6
(x + 6).

Adding the two gives 12 times my current age. This gives the equation:
5 (x + 5) + 6 (x + 6) = 12 x.
Solving the above equation gives
x = (5 x 5) + (6 x 6) = 61.
Thus, I will be 63 years old 2 years from now."
28 A snake slides through a long cylindrical hole in the ground at 5 centimetres per
second. The hole is 6.70 metres in length. The snake takes 14 seconds to enter the hole.
(a) What is the length in centimetres of the snake ?
b) How many seconds does the snake take to exit the hole after entering it?
Solutions (a) 70 (b) 134
It it important to note that
Distance = Speed x Time.
(a) The snake has entered the hole when its tail just comes into the hole. It is given that
14 seconds elapse from the time the snake's head enters the hole till its tail enters. Thus,
Length of the snake = Distance traveled in 14 seconds
= (5 cm/s) x (14 s) = 70 centimetres.
(b) The snake has exited the hole when its tail just leaves the hole. The distance traveled
from the time the snake's tail just enters the hole till its tail just leaves the hole equals the
length of the hole. Thus,
Time for the snake to exit the hole after entering it =
Length of the hole / Speed = = (6.70 m) / (5 cm/s) = (670 cm) / (5 cm/s) = 134 seconds.
Food for thought:
Are there any inaccuracies in the answers above? Does it matter that the bodies of snakes
are usually wavy and not straight when they move?
29 If you were to construct a 6 x 6 checkered square (i.e., a 6 x 6 chess board), how many
rectangles would there be in total? You need to include squares too because a square is a
special kind of rectangle
Solution 441

All the rectangles on the board can be identified by connecting:


2 points of the 7 in the top edge (to form the length of the rectangle) and
2 points of the 7 in the left edge (to form the breadth of the rectangle).
To gain a better understandstanding, consider the 8 x 8 chess board (see animation
above).
Note that there are 4 possibilities for the lengths of the rectangles to be 5 units.
The following table shows the number of possibilities for different lengths of the
rectangles on a 6 x 6 board:
Length of rectangle Number of Possibilities
6 units

5 units

4 units

...

...

1 unit

So, number of possibilities for different lengths of rectangles = 1 + 2 + 3 + ... + 6 = 21.


Similarly, number of possibilities for different breadths of rectangles = 1 + 2 + 3 + ... + 6
= 21.
Hence, number of rectangles = 21 x 21 = 441.
Food for thought:
Is there a formula for the sum of the first n positive integers ?
Is 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + ... + n = n (n + 1) / 2 ?
Can this puzzle be solved quickly with knowledge of permutations and combinations?
Note nC2 is the number of combinations of n things taken 2 at a time.
n
C2 = n (n - 1)/2. Hence the number of rectangles = 7C2 x 7C2 = 21 x 21 = 441.
Can you figure out the following alternative formula to solve this puzzle?
Number of rectangles on n x n board
= 2 (Sum of the products of all pairs of numbers from 1 to n) - (Number of squares on the
board)
30 Glenn and Jason each have a collection of cricket balls. Glenn said that if Jason would
give him 8 of his balls they would have an equal number; but, if Glenn would give Jason
8 of his balls, Jason would have 3 times as many balls as Glenn. How many balls does
Jason have?
Solution 40

Jason has 40 balls and Glenn has 24 balls.


If Jason would give Glenn 8 balls, they would have an equal number (i.e., 32 balls each).
If Glenn would give Jason 8 balls, then Jason would have 48 balls and Glenn would have
16 balls.
Thus, Jason would have 3 times as many balls as Glenn.
Detailed Solution through Equations:
If Jason would give Glenn 8 balls, they would have an equal number.
This implies that Jason has 16 balls more than Glenn.
If Jason has j balls, then Glenn has (j - 16) balls.
If Glenn would give Jason 8 balls, then Glenn would have (j - 24) balls and Jason would
have (j + 8) balls.
Now, Jason would have 3 times as many balls as Glenn.
This may be written in the form of the following equation.
j + 8 = 3 (j - 24)
The equation may be solved as follows.
2 j = 8 + 3 x 24 = 80; or
j = 80 / 2 = 40.
31 Justin takes the underground train to work and uses an escalator at the railway station.
If Justin runs up 8 steps of the escalator, then it takes him 37.5 seconds to reach the top of
the escalator. If he runs up 15 steps of the escalator, then it takes him only 27.0 seconds to
reach the top.
How many seconds would it take Justin to reach the top if he did not run up any steps of
the escalator at all?
Solution 49.5
If he runs up 8 steps, then he needs 37.5 seconds to reach the top.
If he runs up 15 steps, then he needs 27.0 seconds to reach the top.
The 7 additional steps take 10.5 seconds.
Therefore, each step takes 1.5 seconds.
Total steps in escalator = 8 + 37.5 / 1.5 = 33 or Total steps in escalator = 15 + 27.0 / 1.5 =
33.

If Justin did not run up any steps at all,


he would reach the top of the escalator in 49.5 seconds (i.e., 33 steps x 1.5 seconds/step).
Alternative Solution through Equations:
Let the total number of steps in the escalator be x.
The escalator moves at a constant speed given by
Speed of escalator = (x - 8)/37.5 = (x - 15)/27.0
The above equation may be solved as follows.
27.0 (x - 8) = 37.5 (x - 15); or
x = (15 x 37.5 - 8 x 27.0) / (37.5 - 27.0) = 33.
Now, Speed of escalator = (33 - 8)/37.5 = (33 - 15)/27.0 = 1/1.5 steps/second.
Time to reach top = Total Steps / Speed = 49.5 seconds.
Food for thought:
Does it matter whether the escalator is moving up or down?
32 It was vacation time, and so I decided to visit my cousin's home. What a grand time
we had! In the mornings, we both would go for a jog. The evenings were spent on the
tennis court. Tiring as these activities were, we could manage only one per day, i.e., either
we went for a jog or played tennis each day. There were days when we felt lazy and
stayed home all day long.
Now, there were 13 mornings when we did nothing, 19 evenings when we stayed at
home, and a total of 12 days when we jogged or played tennis. For how many days did I
stay at my cousin's place?
Solution 22
Let

Then,

x denote the number of days we jogged in the morning and stayed at home in the
evening;
y denote the number of days we played tennis in the evening and did nothing in
the morning; and
z denote the number of days we neither jogged nor played tennis.

y + z = number of mornings we did nothing = 13


x + z = number of evenings we stayed at home = 19
x + y = number of days we jogged or played tennis = 12
Adding the above three equations and dividing both sides by 2 gives
x + y + z = 22
Since there are only three types of days, the total number of days I stayed with my cousin
is their sum, i.e., 22.
Food for thought:
Can you solve this puzzle using a Venn diagram with two intersecting sets? Could the two
sets be "days we did nothing in the morning" and "days we stayed at home in the
evening"?
33 It was vacation time, and so I decided to visit my cousin's home. What a grand time
we had! In the mornings, we both would go for a jog. The evenings were spent on the
tennis court. Tiring as these activities were, we could manage only one per day, i.e., either
we went for a jog or played tennis each day. There were days when we felt lazy and
stayed home all day long.
Now, there were 15 mornings when we did nothing, 17 evenings when we stayed at
home, and a total of 16 days when we jogged or played tennis. For how many days did I
stay at my cousin's place?
Solution 24
Let

x denote the number of days we jogged in the morning and stayed at home in the
evening;
y denote the number of days we played tennis in the evening and did nothing in
the morning; and
z denote the number of days we neither jogged nor played tennis.

Then,
y + z = number of mornings we did nothing = 15
x + z = number of evenings we stayed at home = 17
x + y = number of days we jogged or played tennis = 16
Adding the above three equations and dividing both sides by 2 gives
x + y + z = 24

Since there are only three types of days, the total number of days I stayed with my cousin
is their sum, i.e., 24.
Food for thought:
Can you solve this puzzle using a Venn diagram with two intersecting sets? Could the two
sets be "days we did nothing in the morning" and "days we stayed at home in the
evening"?
34 Bodo weighs 120 pounds more than his sister, Sarah. Their combined weight is 180
pounds. How many pounds does Bodo weigh?
Solution 150
"Bodo weighs 150 pounds" is the correct answer. His sister weighs 30 pounds. Thus,
Bodo weighs 120 pounds more than his sister and their combined weight is 180 as per
the problem requirements.
The common mistake is to quickly jump to the conclusion that "Bodo weighs 120
pounds and his sister weighs 60 pounds." But, Bodo would then erroneously weigh 60
pounds more than his sister.
Alternative Solution through Equations:
Let b be Bodo's weight and s be his sister's weight. Then,
b - s = 120; and
b + s = 180.
On solving the above two equations, we get
b = (120 + 180) / 2 = 150.
35
A set of football matches is to be organized in a "round-robin" fashion, i.e., every
participating team plays a match against every other team once and only once.
If 105 matches are totally played, how many teams participated?
Solution 15
If 15 teams participated, then the first team plays matches against the other 14 teams.
The second team has already played against the first team, and so has to play matches
against only the other 13 teams. In this manner, the second-last team has to play against
only one team, and the last team has already played against all the teams. Thus, the total
number of matches is

14 + 13 + ........ + 2 + 1 = 105.
If 105 matches are totally played, then 15 teams participated.
Food for thought:
Is there a formula to conveniently add
14 + 13 + ........ + 2 + 1 ?
Indeed, there is! It simply equals 14 x 15 / 2.
If n is the number of teams and m is the total number of matches, then the above formula
provides the following relationship: n (n - 1) / 2 = m. Given m, the quadratic equation
needs to be solved for n.

36 Consider 14 lines drawn at a tangent to an ellipse. The lines break up the plane into
several regions, some bounded (i.e., enclosed) and others unbounded. How many
unbounded regions are there?
Solution 28
If there are 14 tangent lines, then there are 28 unbounded regions.
It is not very difficult to visualize that each tangent line drawn creates two unbounded
regions.
Food for thought:
How do you arrive at the solution to such a problem?
By induction?!
Try to solve the problem for 1 tangent line, 2 tangent lines, and so on. It is easy to then
generalize
37 A large water tank has two inlet pipes (a large one and a small one) and one outlet
pipe. It takes 3 hours to fill the tank with the large inlet pipe. On the other hand, it takes
4 hours to fill the tank with the small inlet pipe. The outlet pipe allows the full tank to be
emptied in 7 hours.
What fraction of the tank (initially empty) will be filled in 1.14 hours if all three pipes
are in operation? Give your answer to two decimal places (e.g., 0.25, 0.5, or 0.75).
Solution 0.5
In one hour,

the large inlet pipe fills 1 / 3 of the tank;


the small inlet pipe fills 1 / 4 of the tank;
the outlet pipe empties 1 / 7 of the tank; and therefore
all three pipes together fill [ (1 / 3) + (1 / 4) - (1 / 7) ] of the tank.
Fraction of the tank that will be filled in 1.14 hours =
1.14 [ (1 / 3) + (1 / 4) - (1 / 7) ] = 0.50.
Alternative Solution through Fundamental Equations:
It it important to note that
Flow Rate = Volume / Time

... equation (1)

Rate of Accumulation = Input Rate - Output Rate ... equation (2)


Let V be the total volume of the tank. From equation (1),
Flow Rate (large inlet pipe) = V / 3
Flow Rate (small inlet pipe) = V / 4
Flow Rate (outlet pipe) = V / 7.
Substituting in equation (2),
Rate of Accumulation in tank = (V / 3) + (V / 4) - (V / 7).
Using the above result in equation (1),
Time required to fill the complete tank = V / [ (V / 3) + (V / 4) - (V / 7) ].
Note that V cancels out on simplifying the above expression.
Fraction of the tank that will be filled in 1.14 hours =
1.14 [ (1 / 3) + (1 / 4) - (1 / 7) ] = 0.50.
Food for thought:
Can you generalize the problem to the case of an arbitrary number of input and output
pipes? It's not very difficult!
How realistic is the assumption of constant flow rates? Will the flow rate through the
outlet pipe necessarily depend on the level of water in the tank? Does it matter whether
the tank is emptied using gravity or with a pump?

38 Grandpa:
"My grandson is about as many days as my son is weeks, and my grandson is as many
months as I am in years. My grandson, my son and I together are 160 years. Can you tell
me my age in years?"
Solution 96
Grandpa:
"This problem is conveniently solved by writing down the necessary equations.
Let m be my age in years. If s is my son's age in years, then my son is 52s weeks old. If g
is my grandson's age in years, then my grandson is 365g days old. Thus,
365g = 52s.
Since my grandson is 12g months old,
12g = m.
Since my grandson, my son and I together are 160 years,
g + s + m = 160.
The above system of 3 equations in 3 unknowns (g, s and m) can be solved as follows.
m / 12 + 365 m / (52 x 12) + m = 160 or
52 m + 365 m + 624 m = 624 x 160 or
m = 624 x 160 / 1041 = 96.
So, I am 96 years old."
Food for thought:
Why is the word "about" used in the Problem Statement in the sentence "My grandson is
about as many days as my son is weeks"? Calculate the son's age and the grandson's age.
Then, verify whether the first equation (i.e., 365g = 52s) is exactly satisfied.
An elegant solution is possible on realizing the significance of the word "about" in the
Problem Statement.
Elegant Solution:

The first equation (365g = 52s) can be approximated by


7g = s.
As before, the other two equations are
12g = m
g + s + m = 160.
The above system of 3 equations in 3 unknowns (g, s and m) can be simply solved as
follows.
g + 7g + 12g = 160 or 20g = 160.
m = 12g = 12 x 160 / 20 = 96.
So, Grandpa is 96 years old.
39 The 10" pizza sells for $ 4.99 at my favorite pizza store. The store claims they have a
great deal on the large 12" pizza, which is specially priced at $ 5.39. What is the per cent
discount the store is offering?
Solution 25
The small pizza has a diameter of 10" and therefore an area proportional to 102.
The large pizza has a diameter of 12" and therefore an area proportional to 122.
If the pizzas are priced in accordance with their areas, then
Price of large pizza / Price of small pizza = (12 / 10)2 = 1.44 or
Price of large pizza = 1.44 x 4.99 = 7.19.
Thus, Discount on large pizza = [1 - (5.39 / 7.19)] x 100 = 25 %.
Food for thought:
Can you think of items which are priced in accordance with their weights or volumes?
40 My Dad has a miniature Pyramid of Egypt. It is 5 inches in height. Dad was invited to
display it at an exhibition. Dad felt it was too small and decided to build a scaled-up
model of the Pyramid out of material whose density is (1/ 5) times the density of the
material used for the miniature. He did a "back-of-the-envelope" calculation to check
whether the model would be big enough.

If the mass (or weight) of the miniature and the scaled-up model are to be the same, how
many inches in height will be the scaled-up Pyramid? Give your answer to two places of
decimal.
Solution 8.55
It it important to note that
Mass = Density x Volume; and
Volume of model / Volume of miniature = (H of model / H of miniature)3.
In the above equation, H is the characteristic dimension (say, height).
If the mass is to be the same, then density is inversely proportional to volume. Also, the
volumes are directly proportional to the cubes of the heights for objects that are
geometrically similar. Therefore, the heights are seen to be inversely proportional to the
cube roots of the densities. Thus,
Height of model = Height of miniature x (Density of miniature / Density of model)1/3 or
Height of model = 5 x [ 51/3 ] = 8.55 inches.
Food for thought:
The above analysis was done for a simple geometry (e.g., pyramid)? Does such an
analysis hold for complex shapes?
A lot of scientific and engineering studies are done with scaled-up models (for
microscopic phenomena) and scaled-down models (e.g., wind tunnel experiments in
aerodynamics). Dimensional Analysis (used above) and Similarity are important concepts
in such studies.