10 Fun puzzles to enjoy today

1st April is a day of fun, humor and enjoyment. Even though, I have lot of fun puzzles on this blog, these ten are totally meant for today. Enjoy! PUZZLES 1. If you are in a dark room with a candle, a wood stove and a gas lamp. You only have one matchstick in the matchbox, so what do you light…

Difference Paradox

Consider two natural numbers $n_1$ and $n_2$, out of which one is twice as large as the other. We are not told whether $n_1$ is larger or $n_2$, we can state following two propositions: PROPOSITION 1: The difference $n_1-n_2$, if $n_1 >n_2$, is different from the difference $n_2-n_1$, if $n_2 >n_1$. PROPOSITION 2: The difference $n_1-n_2$, if $n_1 >n_2$, is the same…

What’s the question, if the answer is ‘No!’

Infinitely many answers questions are possible to the answer, “No”. So, our real task should be to find one of THOSE many, which seems to be a perfect one. A simple and the first ever logical approach of giving answers to a question is to derive answers from the question, that is, replace some words of the question with reasonable ones and…

Light the bulb: An everyday logic puzzle

You are inside a room and there are exactly three electric bulbs outside of the room. The three bulbs have their corresponding switches (exactly three) inside the room. You can turn the switches on and off and leave them in any position. How would you identify which switch corresponds to which electric bulb, if you are allowed to go outside…

Smart Fallacies: i=1, 1= 2 and 1= 3

This mathematical fallacy is due to a simple assumption, that $ -1=\dfrac{-1}{1}=\dfrac{1}{-1}$ . Proceeding with $ \dfrac{-1}{1}=\dfrac{1}{-1}$ and taking square-roots of both sides, we get: $ \dfrac{\sqrt{-1}}{\sqrt{1}}=\dfrac{\sqrt{1}}{\sqrt{-1}}$ Now, as the Euler’s constant $ i= \sqrt{-1}$ and $ \sqrt{1}=1$ , we can have $ \dfrac{i}{1}=\dfrac{1}{i} \ldots \{1 \}$ $ \Rightarrow i^2=1 \ldots \{2 \}$ . This is complete contradiction to the…

Four way valid expression

People really like to twist the numbers and digits bringing fun into life. For example, someone asks, “how much is two and two?” : the answer should be four according to basic (decimal based) arithmetic. But the same  with base three (in ternary number system) equals to 11. Two and Two also equals to Twenty Two. Similarly there are many ways you can…

How Many Fishes in One Year? [A Puzzle in Making]

This is a puzzle which I told to my classmates during a talk, a few days before. I did not represent it as a puzzle, but a talk suggesting the importance of Math in general life. This is partially solved for me and I hope you will run your brain-horse to help me solve it completely. If you didn’t notice,…

The Cattle Problem

This is a famous problem of intermediate analysis, also known as ‘Archimedes’ Cattle Problem Puzzle’, sent by Archimedes to Eratosthenes as a challenge to Alexandrian scholars. In it one is required to find the number of bulls and cows of each of four colors, the eight unknown quantities being connected by nine conditions. These conditions ultimately form a Pell equation…

A Yes No Puzzle

This is not just math, but a very good test for linguistic reasoning. If you are serious about this test and think that you’ve a sharp [at least average] brain then read the statement (only) below –summarize it –find the conclusion and then answer that whether summary of the statement is Yes or No. [And if you’re not serious about…

Three Children, Two Friends and One Mathematical Puzzle

Two close friends, Robert and Thomas, met again after a gap of several years. Robert Said: I am now married and have three children. Thomas Said: That’s great! How old they are? Robert: Thomas! Guess it yourself with some clues provided by me. The product of the ages of my children is 36. Thomas: Hmm… Not so helpful clue. Can…

How Genius You Are?

Let have a Test: You need to make a calculation. Please do neither use a calculator nor a paper. Calculate everything “in your brain”. Take 1000 and add 40. Now, add another 1000. Now add 30. Now, add 1000 again. Add 20. And add 1000 again. And an additional 10.   So, You Got The RESULT!  Quicker you see the…

A Problem On Several Triangles

A triangle $ T $ is divided into smaller triangles such that any two of the smaller triangles either have no point in common, or have a vertex in common, or actually have an edge in common. Thus no two smaller triangles touch along part of an edge of them. For an illustration let me denote the three vertices of…

Two Interesting Math Problems

Problem1: Smallest Autobiographical Number: A number with ten digits or less is called autobiographical if its first digit (from the left) indicates the number of zeros it contains,the second digit the number of ones, third digit number of twos and so on. For example: 42101000 is autobiographical. Find, with explanation, the smallest autobiographical number. Solution of Problem 1 Problem 2:…

Chess Problems

In how many ways can two queens, two rooks, one white bishop, one black bishop, and a knight be placed on a standard $ 8 \times 8$ chessboard so that every position on the board is under attack by at least one piece? Note: The color of a bishop refers to the color of the square on which it sits,…

How many apples did each automattician eat?

Four friends Matt, James, Ian and Barry, who all knew each other from being members of the Automattic, called Automatticians, sat around a table that had a dish with 11 apples in it. The chat was intense, and they ended up eating all the apples. Everybody had at least one apple, and everyone know that fact, and each automattician knew…

Fox – Rabbit Chase Problems

Part I: A fox chases a rabbit. Both run at the same speed $ v$ . At all times, the fox runs directly toward the instantaneous position of the rabbit , and the rabbit runs at an angle $ \alpha $ relative to the direction directly away from the fox. The initial separation between the fox and the rabbit is…

Applications of Complex Number Analysis to Divisibility Problems

Prove that $ {(x+y)}^n-x^n-y^n$ is divisible by $ xy(x+y) \times (x^2+xy+y^2)$ if $ n$ is an odd number not divisible by $ 3$ . Prove that $ {(x+y)}^n-x^n-y^n$ is divisible by $ xy(x+y) \times {(x^2+xy+y^2)}^2$ if $ n \equiv \pmod{6}1$ Solution 1.Considering the given expression as a polynomial in $ y$ , let us put $ y=0 $ . We…

A Problem (and Solution) from Bhaskaracharya’s Lilavati

I was reading a book on ancient mathematics problems from Indian mathematicians. Here I wish to share one problem from Bhaskaracharya‘s famous creation Lilavati. Problem A beautiful maiden , with beaming eyes, asks of which is the number that multiplied by 3 , then increased by three-fourths of the product, divided by 7, diminished by one-third of the quotient, multiplied…