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Solutions to the Math puzzle-1; a set of problems prepared to test the general mathematical aptitude of the secondary school students.
The problem set can be found in my site at www.scribd.com.
Comments are most welcome!

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E-Mail: kg.abhi@gmail.com

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1. Ans. (ii) 7

This means you have to divide a circle by three straight lines. Many would answer (i) 6 .

But after a little thought you find that if you intersect the three lines at three different

points inside the circle you get 7 segments. This kind of a problem is to examine the

sense of Geometry.

The Answer is 5.

Suppose the numbers are x and y .

Therefore, 2 x =3 y

x 3

⇒ =

y 2

Add 1 to both sides of the above, you get one equation. Subtract 1 from both sides of the

above, you get another. Then divide the previous one by the later and you get the

following.

( x + y ) (3 + 2)

⇒ =

( x − y ) (3 − 2)

⇒ ( x + y ) = 5( x − y )

This problem is to examine the primary knowledge of Algebra and the elementary rules

of Ratios.

This is a problem of percentage can be solved arithmetically.

But applying Algebra will make work easier.

Let x be the remaining over and y be the asking run rate per over.

Now x reduces to x − x × 20% = x(1 − 1 / 5) = 4 x / 5 .

Then y has to be increased by z to have ( y + z ) .

2

Solving one gets z / y = 1 / 4 = 25% .

4. Ans. (iii) 2

Let the digits of the number are x and y .

Therefore, (10 x + y ) − (10 y + x) = 18

Solving, ( x − y ) = 2 .

5. Ans. (iii) 64

Follow each step carefully and observe the number of pieces goes by 2 n , where n is the

number of steps executed. The progression follows a power law.

Therefore, the result would be 2 6 = 64 .

Drawing a diagram would make things clear.

The diagram is self sufficient and one can easily see that the distance between the starting

point and the end point is 32 + 1 .

This may appear as a silly question. However, the given number is quite big so that most

often it tempts you to fall in the trap of wasting time unless you are alert. But the trick

lies in the use of Algebra. You can assume that the number is x.

Therefore, the steps follow:

2( x + 1) − 2

x → ( x + 1) → 2( x + 1) → 2( x + 1) − 2 → =x

2

So at the end you get the same number.

Suppose you take two squares of size a × a and b × b .

Therefore, you have two square pieces a 2 and b 2 . If you have two more pieces of equal

size a × b then the four pieces together make a 2 + b 2 + 2ab = (a + b) 2 , a square of size

(a + b) × (a + b).

Here the information of the population of size 1 billion is not required.

Suppose the present population is x0 .

3

After 2 years it is x 2 = x 0 (1 + 1 / 100) 2 and so on.

Like this the population after 100 years becomes x100 = x0 (1 + 1 / 100)100 .

x 1

Thus we have 100 = (1 + 1 / 100)100 ≅ 1 + × 100 = 2 .

x0 100

Note that the last approximation can be made in the binomial expression because

1

is much less than 1.

100

Place 9 squares side by side and form a big square like the following:

Therefore, the total number is 9+4+1=14 (= 3 2 + 2 2 + 1) .

A knock-out tournament is such where one team loses and goes out of tournament. The

final team survives is the champion. Therefore, total number of matches played will be

64 − 1 = 63. Try it out with a small number like 3 or 4 and check.

1 1

2 3

1 1

Notice that the powers of the three numbers are , and 1 respectively. Therefore, to

2 3

compare properly one has to take HCF of 2 , 3 and 1 which is 6.

1

1

(5 3 ) 6 = 5 2 = 25,

2 6 = 64.

Invoking Algebra would give you the answer quickly:

5( x + 5) − 5( x − 5) = 50

4

This is a elementary problem from the chapter of Permutations and Combinations. Note

that from each station you can go to 30 other stations. Therefore, there are 31× 30

connections. And if you consider the return journey tickets then the number is

31 × 30 × 2 = 1960.

The biggest number you can construct is 5 to the power 5 to the power 5:

5

55

16.Ans. (i) 9

This is again a problem of permutation and combination. You can think of putting 2

objects A and B into 3 Boxes which is 3 2 = 9.

(20 + 30)

The answer would definitely not be = 25. The reason is the train does not take

2

equal time up and down that is why you can not take simple arithmetic average like this.

Suppose the average speed is x km/h and one way distance is y km.

We can then write :

2y y y

= +

x 20 30

Solving one gets x = 24

Here the information of the numerical value of the length of the wire (100 cm) is

redundant which may only tempt one to manipulate numerically resulting wastage of

time.

Suppose we make a rectangle of length x and breadth y so that 2( x + y ) = l , where l is

the length of the wire (here perimeter of the frame). This means

l

x + y = c(= ) =constant.

2

The area is A = xy = x(c − x) . Note that the area A would be maximum when you

c l

choose x = y = = and which is nothing but a square.

2 4

Ordinary algebraic manipulation would lead to confusion and wastage of time. Invoking

ratios (and a simple trick) will make it easy.

5

× × × = 2 × 3× × = 1

Mrinal Arun Manju Kartik 2 3

Tapas

∴ =1

Kartik

Therefore, Tapas and Kartik earn equal amount.

π

The height of the rhombus is h = a sin( − θ ) = a cos θ .

2

1

The area of the Rhombus is 2 × × a × a cos θ = a 2 cos θ .

2

a2 1

Therefore, it is clear that if θ = 60 deg, the area of the rhombus will be = × area of

2 2

square.

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