## [Math Problem] The children

on Thu 27 Aug 2009, 21:12

**Let me see if you can solve this.**

*Two men meet on the street. They haven't seen each other for many years. They talk about lots of things and after a while one of the men says.*

“Since you’re a mathematician I would like to give you a problem to solve. You see, today is a very special day to me. All my three sons are having their birthday today. So can you tell me what age my sons are?”

“Sure” answers the mathematician. “But you need to tell me something about them.”

“Okay I’ll give you a few clues” Answers the father of the three sons. “If you multiply their ages with each other you’ll get 36.”

“That’s good.” Says the mathematician “But I need more information.”

“The sum of their ages is the same as there are windows on that building.” Says the father and points at a building nearby.

The mathematician thinks for a while and says “I still need one more clue to solve the problem.”

“My oldest son has blue eyes.” Says the father.

“Ah! That’ll be enough clues” Says the mathematician and gives the father the right answer on their ages.

“Since you’re a mathematician I would like to give you a problem to solve. You see, today is a very special day to me. All my three sons are having their birthday today. So can you tell me what age my sons are?”

“Sure” answers the mathematician. “But you need to tell me something about them.”

“Okay I’ll give you a few clues” Answers the father of the three sons. “If you multiply their ages with each other you’ll get 36.”

“That’s good.” Says the mathematician “But I need more information.”

“The sum of their ages is the same as there are windows on that building.” Says the father and points at a building nearby.

The mathematician thinks for a while and says “I still need one more clue to solve the problem.”

“My oldest son has blue eyes.” Says the father.

“Ah! That’ll be enough clues” Says the mathematician and gives the father the right answer on their ages.

**You’re challenge is now to follow the reasoning of the mathematician and solve the problem. There is only ONE answer that is right.**

And when answering you have to provide an explanation why your three ages are the correct ones.

And yes, it IS solvable and I HAVE provided enough information to solve it.

Good Luck and have fun. If no one has answered right before 1st September, I will post the answer.

And also if you've seen this one before don't spoil it for the others. Thanks.

And when answering you have to provide an explanation why your three ages are the correct ones.

And yes, it IS solvable and I HAVE provided enough information to solve it.

Good Luck and have fun. If no one has answered right before 1st September, I will post the answer.

And also if you've seen this one before don't spoil it for the others. Thanks.

S3rius gets an instant cookie for solving it.

Tamer gets the a cookie aswell, though it has chewing marks in it,(Lets just say that s3rius didn't like his cookie.)

....................

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. ~Winston Churchill

**s3rius**LTG- Posts : 1931

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## Re: [Math Problem] The children

on Thu 27 Aug 2009, 22:04

BULLSEYE

Here's the answer:

Here's the answer:

- Spoiler:

Yea, you wish.

....................

Anime is a prime example of why two nukes just weren't enough

Way to go, America!

- Tamer1SG
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## Re: [Math Problem] The children

on Thu 27 Aug 2009, 22:46

- Spoiler:
- The possible age combinations are the following (and the sum of all those) :

{1,1,36} : sum = 38

{1,2,18} : sum = 21

{1,3,12} : sum = 16

{1,4,9} : sum = 14

{1,6,6} : sum = 13

{2,2,9} : sum = 13

{2,3,6} : sum = 11

{3,3,4} : sum = 10

Now, since the mathematician knows the number of windows on the building (even if we do not) and he is still not able to find out the answer, then that's because there must be more than one possible answer for any given number of windows.

In this case, the only solutions that have the same sum are {1,6,6} and {2,2,9} .

Assuming that the twins in these 2 solutions are identical twins, then the oldest son must not have a twin, therefore the answer is {2,2,9}

But the enigma (it really isn't much a math problem as far as I can tell) is not well presented, because there are no assumptions for the twins to be identical. Since blue eye color is from a recessive gene, there is probability of any son born out of the same egg cell is 1 in 4 or 3 in 4 (depending if one of the parents has blue eyes or not, otherwise all kids would have blue eyes or none would) => therefore, twins that result from 2 different egg cell can have blue and non-blue eye colors.

Lisianthus: I think that the color doesn't have much to do with it, and rather that he says "Oldest son" But yes still, there is nothing that says that the "oldest son" cannot be a twin. Maybe he just came out first.

s3rius: Put into a Spoiler so others can chose to read it or not. Congrats on solving it. The answer is correct.

- calexRC
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## Re: [Math Problem] The children

on Wed 02 Sep 2009, 07:45

**Well where's the answer now? Hmm..**

I should post my answer first.. For me

if that man has three sons and the product

of their ages is 36, therefore, 36 divided

by 3 is equal to 12. They are triplets! Am I

right? That's my answer because the man

did not tell how many windows in the building

and I don't think the color of the eyes of his

older son has got to do with their ages.

I should post my answer first.. For me

if that man has three sons and the product

of their ages is 36, therefore, 36 divided

by 3 is equal to 12. They are triplets! Am I

right? That's my answer because the man

did not tell how many windows in the building

and I don't think the color of the eyes of his

older son has got to do with their ages.

*"It's just a name, I'm a girl."*

**Proxy**LTC- Posts : 746

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## Re: [Math Problem] The children

on Wed 02 Sep 2009, 07:53

Congrats on solving that guys

....................

the_underhand: I went to a beauty contest

the_underhand: bikini 2009

the_underhand: miss bikini

the_underhand: and won

[Bnet 3:13 pm 10/9/2009]

**s3rius**LTG- Posts : 1931

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## Re: [Math Problem] The children

on Wed 02 Sep 2009, 10:28

You can see the answer when you click on the grey frame in Tamer's post. I hid it in a spoiler so no one would accidently read the right answer while trying to figure out the riddle.calex wrote:Well where's the answer now? Hmm..

I should post my answer first.. For me

if that man has three sons and the product

of their ages is 36, therefore, 36 divided

by 3 is equal to 12. They are triplets! Am I

right? That's my answer because the man

did not tell how many windows in the building

and I don't think the color of the eyes of his

older son has got to do with their ages."It's just a name, I'm a girl."

To clear it up:

The man didn't tell us how many windows the building has, but the mathematican

**knows**, because he can see the building. But even though he knows that it's 36 if you multiply their ages and the numb. of windows, he still asks for another hint. That means that there must be at least two combinations of ages that result in the same numbers when you multiply/sum them up.

The only combinations that applies to are:

{1,6,6} : sum = 13 (1*6*6=36)

{2,2,9} : sum = 13 (2*2*9=36)

Now, it's not important what eye color they have, but he said the

**oldest son**- that means there must be one who is older than the others. If you look at the two combinations above there is one where the oldest two are twins (6 years) and one where the oldest one is 9. Logic tells you it must be the latter one. Thus the kids are 2, 2 and 9 years old.

....................

Anime is a prime example of why two nukes just weren't enough

Way to go, America!

- schattenkriegerMSG
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## Re: [Math Problem] The children

on Thu 25 Mar 2010, 00:30

abortions are fun

## Re: [Math Problem] The children

on Thu 25 Mar 2010, 16:26

schattenkrieger wrote:abortions are fun

Pretty sure that solves the question without any real mathimatics at all. I say Shattenkrieger wins this round lol xD

- schattenkriegerMSG
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## Re: [Math Problem] The children

on Thu 25 Mar 2010, 23:51

XD

**s3rius**LTG- Posts : 1931

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Regist Date : 2006-02-11

## Re: [Math Problem] The children

on Fri 26 Mar 2010, 13:48

Well, the cookie awards are kinda old already.. and digested.. and excremented.. and.. well, you get it.

....................

Anime is a prime example of why two nukes just weren't enough

Way to go, America!

## Re: [Math Problem] The children

on Fri 26 Mar 2010, 15:23

in other words we should just tell him its ice cream and give him a blind fold? lol

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