This problem from the 1987 Discover magazine’s Brain Bogglers by Michael Stueben apparently traces back to 1770, though the exact reference is not given.
“Here’s an arithmetic problem taken from a textbook published in Germany in 1770. Three people are gambling. In the first game, Player A loses to each of the others as much money as each of them had when the game started. In the next game, B loses to each of the others as much money as each had when that game began. In the third game, A and B each win from C as much money as each had at the start of that game. The players now find that each has the same sum, 24 guineas. How much money did each have when play began?”
See the 1770 Card Game Problem
This problem from Colin Hughes at Maths Challenge is a most surprising result that takes a bit of tinkering to solve.
We can see that 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 = 360 = 19² – 1. Prove that the product of four consecutive integers is always one less than a perfect square.”
The result is so mysterious at first that you begin to understand why the ancient Pythagoreans had a mystical relationship with mathematics.
See the Consecutive Product Square.
This interesting problem comes from Colin Hughes at the Maths Challenge website.
Prove that for any number that is not a multiple of seven, then its cube will be one more or one less than a multiple of 7.”
See Lucky 7 Problem
In a June Chalkdust book review of Daniel Griller’s second book, Problem solving in GCSE mathematics, Matthew Scroggs presented the following problem #65 from the book (without a solution):
Scroggs’s initial reaction to the problem was “it took me a while to realise that I even knew how to solve it.”
Mind you, according to Wikipedia, “GCSEs [General Certificate of Secondary Education] were introduced in 1988 [in the UK] to establish a national qualification for those who decided to leave school at 16, without pursuing further academic study towards qualifications such as A-Levels or university degrees.” My personal feeling is that any student who could solve this problem should be encouraged to continue their education with a possible major in a STEM field.
See Cube Roots Problem
This is a tricky product problem from Alfred Posamentier which naturally has a slick solution—if you can think of it.
“Find the numerical value of the following expression:
See A Tricky Product.
This is another UKMT Senior Challenge problem, but for the year 2005. I thought it was diabolical and hadn’t a clue how to solve it. Even after reading the solution, I don’t think I could have come up with it. I take my hat off to anyone who solves it.
“Which of the following is equal to
See Radical Radicals.
Here is a problem from the UKMT Senior (17-18 year-old) Mathematics Challenge for 2009:
“Four positive integers a, b, c, and d are such that
_________abcd + abc + bcd + cda + dab + ab + bc + cd + da + ac + bd + a + b + c + d = 2009.
What is the value of a + b + c + d?
_________A 73_________B 75_________C 77_________D 79_________E 81”
See the Challenging Sum
(Update 4/17/2019) Continue reading