Category Archives: Problems

Five More Problems

When I was in eighth grade, one of our local newspapers would occasionally publish a math problem and wait for at least a week for someone to write in a solution.  I know better than to try that here, since the people I thought might read my last set of problems apparently didn’t.  Since the previous problems were more logic than math, I promised one actual math problem.  Three of the five here use math.  Since the last group was such a dud, I promise no more problems after this. Continue reading


Answers to Logic Problems #1

I was a little disappointed that so few people are interested in mathematics (or in this case, logic).  My next problem will be pure mathematics, just in case it’s logic that people don’t like, but I’m still not optimistic.

Before reading the answers, be sure you’ve read the original post:  Logic Problems #1. Continue reading

Logic Problems #1

I’m finally getting caught up on my e-mail; I need to quit spending so much time away from home.  One of the things I used to enjoy back in junior high (before they invented middle schools) was that one of our local newspaper columnists would throw in a math problem from time to time.

I’ve pulled 3 problems off the Internet and reworded them slightly to make it harder to find the answers with Google.  The answers will come in the next post.

  1. A guy goes to a hardware store to buy a common item found in any hardware store.  He asks the clerk what 1 costs – 20 cents.  12 would cost 40 cents, and 128 would cost 60 cents.  What was he buying?
  2. When a mathematician asks a second mathematician the ages of the second’s three children, he answers that the product of their ages is 72 and the sum is equal to the number of dollars he pulls from his billfold. The first mathematician comments that the information is insufficient to solve the problem, and the second adds that his oldest child likes butterscotch, and the answer is then obvious.
  3. Fred and George have just met Hannah, and they want to know when her birthday is. Hannah gives them a list of 10 possible dates, shown in tabular format:
May 15 16 19
June 17 18
July 14 16
August 14 15 17

Hannah then tells Fred the month and George the day of her birthday.             Fred: I don’t know when Hannah’s birthday is, but I also know that George doesn’t either.
George: At first I didn’t know Hannah’s birthday, but now I do.
Fred: Then I also know her birthday.
So when is Hannah’s birthday?”