Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Silly online math puzzles: Here are three more for April 2015

I've been having a pretty fun time with sharing some of these puzzles that come across my Facebook feed, so here's another installment of some of the silly puzzles that have been posted by my friends and my solutions to the problems.

The puzzle above should be an easy one if you follow the order of operations. The answer should be C: 50. If you wanted to rewrite the equation to make it a little easier to understand, you could add some parentheses to make it:

7 + (7/7) + (7*7) - 7

Which can then be simplified by taking care of the division and multiplication to yield:

+ (1) + (49) - 7

or, removing parentheses:

+ 1 + 49 - 7

Which one can then easily see is equal to 50:

+ 1 + 49 - 7 = 50

Trova la Soluzione!

As I mentioned in a recent post, those bits of text people keep adding to these puzzles suggesting that they're "only for geniuses" or that only some percentage of people get them right are absolutely bogus. Anyone can get the right answer if they understand what the puzzle is looking for and are willing to spend enough time working for it. Also, it's highly unlikely for most of these problems that there has been a significant portion of the population who've been tested with these problems to be able to make statistical statements about the likelihood of finding the answer. Still, I love puzzles and math problems, so I can't help myself. Take this one, for instance:

Trova la soluzione is Italian for "find the solution". I don't speak Italian, but in these glorious days of online information accessibility, we pretty much have Star Trek's universal translator at our fingertips whenever we're online.

Were you able to figure out the answer for the problem above? It's another that's pretty easy once you figure out the operation that the problem wants you to apply to each line. In this case, the final answer should be 126. If you start by adding the numbers on the left side of each equation, you should quickly see that there's a connection between that sum and the number on the right. In the first line, 2 plus 3 gives you 5 which can be multiplied by 2 to get 10. In the second line, 8 plus 4 gives you 12 which can then be multiplied by 8 to get 96. So, it pops out pretty quickly that you have to add the two numbers on the left and then multiply that sum by the first number on the left. Pretty simple, right?

Okay, well here's a slightly different type of silly online puzzle. This one isn't built from numbers, but rather asks you to think about what you're seeing. Take a gander at this one, trova la soluzione, and then tell me what you think in the comments: