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Mathematical Puzzles

# Mathematical Puzzles

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11/05/2013

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Mathematical Puzzles
These puzzles have been adapted from various sources to be used with pupils who finishclasswork early. Most of the questions were chosen with enthusiastic, bright 11 year oldsin mind.Some of the puzzles are also appropriate for class work - an initial worked example onthe board will help a lot.There are a few trick questions. Some questions can be quickly answered if you chanceupon the right approach, but the 'long' solution isn't too arduous. Remove Answers ShowAnswers
Scales and Vessels
1.How can you measure out exactly 4 litres of water from a tap using a 3 litre and a5 litre bucket?
Ans

2.3litre 5litre3.----- ------4.0 55.3 26.0 27.2 08.2 59.3 4
10.A 24 litre bucket is full of lemonade. 3 men want to have equal amounts of it totake home, but they only have a 13 litre, a 5 litre and an 11 litre bucket. How dothey do it?
Ans

11.24 13 11 512.----------13.24 0 0 014.11 13 0 015. 6 13 0 516. 6 2 11 517. 8 0 11 518. 8 5 11 019. 8 13 3 020. 8 8 3 521. 8 8 8 0
22.A Queen (78kg), the Prince (36kg) and the King (42kg) are stuck at the top of atower. 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 a6kg difference between the weights of the baskets if someone's inside. How dothe people all escape?
Ans

23.Basket 1 Basket 224.---------------------25.Stone up Prince down26.King down Prince up27.nothing up Stone down28.Queen down Stone and King up29.nothing up Stone down30.Prince down Stone up31.nothing up Stone down32.King down Prince up33.Stone up Prince down
34.One out of 9 otherwise identical balls is overweight. How can it be identified after 2 weighings?
Ans: Weigh 3 against 3, then you'll know which group of 3 contains the heavyball. Pick 2 balls from that group and weigh one against the other.
35.One out of 27 otherwise identical balls is overweight. How can it be identifiedafter 3 weighings?
Ans: Weigh 9 against 9, then 3 against 3.
36.How many ways can you put 10 sweets into 3 bags so that each bag contains anodd 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 workableconfiguration is to put one bag inside another and leave the third alone. Theanswers can be obtained using the followingoctavescript, where bag
b
is inside bag
a

37.for a=0:1038. for b=0:(10-a)39. c=10-a-b;40. if (rem((a+b),2)==1 && rem(b,2)==1 && rem(c,2)==1)41. fprintf('a=%d b=%d c=%d\n',a,b,c)42. end43. end44.end
Ferries
1.A man has to take a hen, a fox, and some corn across a river. He can only take onething across at a time. Unless the man is present the fox will eat the hen and thehen eat the corn. How is it done?
Ans

2.MAN AND HEN ->3.<- MAN4.MAN AND FOX ->5.<- MAN AND HEN6.MAN AND CORN ->7.<- MAN8.MAN AND HEN ->
9.3 missionaries and 3 obediant but hungry cannibals have to cross a river using a2-man rowing boat. If on either bank cannibals outnumber missionaries the

missionaries will be eaten. How can everyone cross safely?
Ans

10.CANNIBAL and MISSIONARY ->11.<- MISSIONARY12.CANNIBAL and CANNIBAL ->13.<- CANNIBAL14.MISSIONARY and MISSIONARY ->15.<- CANNIBAL and MISSIONARY16.MISSIONARY and MISSIONARY ->17.<- CANNIBAL18.CANNIBAL and CANNIBAL ->19.<- CANNIBAL20.CANNIBAL and CANNIBAL ->
21.2 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

22.BOY and BOY ->23.<- BOY24.MAN ->25.<- BOY26.BOY and BOY ->27.<- BOY28.MAN ->29.<- BOY30.BOY and BOY ->
SMP and CSE 1974 extend this to cover the case of n men.

Picking Captains
1.6 boys pick a captain by forming a circle then eliminating every n'th boy. The 2nd boy in the counting order can choose n. If he wants to be captain what's thesmallest n he 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 7thmouse : hint - start anywhere, see how far out you are, then make the necessarycorrection
3.20 passengers are in a sinking ship. 10 are mathematicians. They all stand in aring. Every 7th climbs into the lifeboat which can only hold 10 people. Whereshould 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 passengegoes overboard. The lifeboat holds 15. Where are the 15 lucky positions in thecircle?
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 octavescript
howmanyatstart=30;howmanyatend=15;