Challenge accepted, Cheryl.
Last night, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) pulled a Singapore and Asian Schools Math Olympiad (SASMO), bringing dreadful Cheryl back to haunt students with finding out her age.
Let’s break the question down:
From our background knowledge, we know that Albert and Bernard just became friends with Cheryl.
Next, it’s very clear that Albert and Bernard are assholes, because they make us do the dirty work instead of simply getting her age with a bit of flattery. For example, “you look ___ years old because you’re bright, radiant and full of sunshine.”
So, my final deduction is that Albert and Bernard are phenomenally patient acquaintances and Cheryl is a pimp with terrible social skills.
Just kidding, back to
being wing man for Albert and Bernard solving this question, thanks to this very brilliant Facebook user:
Breaking it down
1) Cheryl’s age x bro’s age x bro’s age = 144
2) The sum of all their ages is the bus number the three friends are on.
Let’s list down all possibilities based on these 2 clues alone.
1 x 1 x 144 (Sum/bus number = 146)
1 x 2 x 72 (75)
1 x 3 x 48 (52)
1 x 4 x 36 (41)
1 x 6 x 24 (31)
1 x 8 x 18 (27)
1 x 9 x 16 (26)
1 x 12 x 12 (25)
2 x 2 x 36 (40)
2 x 3 x 24 (29)
2 x 4 x 18 (24)
2 x 6 x 12 (20)
2 x 8 x 9 (19)
3 x 3 x 16 (22)
3 x 4 x 12 (19)
3 x 6 x 8 (17)
4 x 4 x 9 (17)
4 x 6 x 6 (16)
3) They know the bus number, but still don’t know her age.
Since there can only be one bus number, they should be able to identify the combination right away using it. But since they still didn’t, it means they couldn’t single out one answer. This means more than one combination gives the same bus number.
We don’t know the bus number, so what we can only do is list out the combinations where the bus number is repeated:
A) 2 x 8 x 9 (19)
B) 3 x 4 x 12 (19)
C) 3 x 6 x 8 (17)
D) 4 x 4 x 9 (17)
4) Cheryl conveniently forgets (why do Albert and Bernard bother again?) to tell them that her brothers have the same age.
Since option D is the only option where 4 is repeated, Cheryl’s brothers are 4 and she is 9. They are on bus number 17. Bus 17 operates around Pasir Ris, Tampines, and Bedok, so we can only assume our 3 heroes live and study around the area.
Now that that’s behind us, I present to you, a heartfelt letter:
Dear Albert and Bernard:
I’m writing to congratulate you both on finding out Cheryl’s age (assuming you’re not 40 something year old pedophiles).
You both have come a long, long way in your friendship with Cheryl. After over an arduous month of hard work, you now know Cheryl’s birthday and her age.
You could have just asked for her birth year when you found out her birth date, or used some flattery, like I said. But after what you had to so bravely endure instead, you inspire me and the rest of the world to always take the road less travelled.
What a massive accomplishment, I’m sure it’s bound to bring you both far in life. Who knows, one of you might get married to Cheryl after learning so deeply about her. The bond you share is truly admirable.
I just have one last thing to say: when you both hit puberty and get trapped in the inevitable problematic triangle of love, may you please, avoid setting a math question on it?
Sharmaine (on behalf of MustShareNews)
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