Monthly Brainteaser and Novembers AnswerWednesday, December 22nd, 2010
Last month’s problem was: ask yourself what the following words have in common:
Well, the answer is that, if you give each of them a capital letter, they are pronounced differently. Here’s a real cracker for Christmas:
The busy housewife had just had an argument on the phone with the local council about an issue with one of her stepchildren, when there was a knock on the door. On the doorstep stood a man with a clipboard. “I’m from the Council” he said, “and I am doing a survey for the Social Services Department. Can you tell me, please, how many children you have?” “Three” she replied curtly. “And how old are they?” asked the man. Feeling somewhat peeved about anything to do with the council, the woman replied “Well, if you multiply their ages together, the result is 36”. “Hmm” muttered the man with the clipboard, “That doesn’t give me much to go on”. The woman thought, then said “If you add their ages together, the total is the number of the house next door”. The man jumped over the low wall to look at the front door of the adjacent house, jumped back, and said “Can you give me just one more bit of information, please?” “My eldest was born in January” snapped the woman, and slammed the door in the man’s face. But he wasn’t bothered. He just wrote down the correct ages of the three children and moved on to make his next call.
How did he work out the ages? All the information is there. But treat all ages as whole numbers, for example don’t use fractions of a year and twins would be exactly the same age as each other. You just need to sit down with a pencil and paper and work through the problem step by step.
Answer next month. Have a really good Christmas!