I can't figure out what information "the oldest one looks like me" is supposed to give, is there a typo?

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- September 8th 2006, 02:29 PM #1

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## Roommates

Two women meet after many years. One asks, "how old are youthree daughters?" Answer: "The product of their ages is 36." Question: "But that's not enought information." Answer: "Well, the sum of their ages is the same number as the post office box that we shared at college." Question: "But that's still not enough information." Answer: "the oldest one looks like me. "Statement: "Oh, now I know their ages."

That is the question on the paper and I have no idea what that is about..

I can get x*y*z=36 and x+y+z=adress but that is about it... Help please..

- September 8th 2006, 02:32 PM #2

- September 8th 2006, 02:33 PM #3

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- September 8th 2006, 02:52 PM #4

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Originally Posted by**t-lee**

knowledge that the sum of their ages is the same as the PO box number

means that there are two or more ways that you can find three factors

of 36 that sum to that number. (probably means that the sum is 13).

The last piece of information tells you that the two oldest are not twins

(and hence of the same age). My guess is the ages are 2, 2 and 9 years.

RonL

- September 8th 2006, 02:58 PM #5

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- September 8th 2006, 03:03 PM #6

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Originally Posted by**t-lee**

---

The positilities for are:

Code:1,1,36 SUM 28 1,2,18 SUM 21 1,3,12 SUM 16 1,4,9 SUM 12 1,6,6 SUM 13 2,2,9 SUM 13 2,3,6 SUM 11

"The oldest one looks like me".

This implies that the oldest exists.

Furthermore, from the second statement,

"The sum of ages is my POX in college" suggests that the woman was aware of the POX number" otherwise she was not able to say,

"Okay, I know there ages".

Thus, since she knew sum she was not able to determine the ages because there was not a unique possibility. In that case the sum was not unique. Thus,

Code:1,6,6 2,2,9

2,2,9

- September 8th 2006, 03:05 PM #7

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Originally Posted by**t-lee**

can be 13 if the product is 36. If you check you will find no other value

of the sum can be made in two ways, so the PO box number must be 13.

The sum 13 can be made if the ages are 1, 6 and 6 or 2, 2 and 9.

That there is an oldest shows that the answer is the latter 2, 2, and 9 years.

When I used the expressions "guess" it is modest understatement, because

I haven't checked that the problem setter has not made an error that

allows multiple solutions.

RonL

- September 8th 2006, 05:12 PM #8

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- September 8th 2006, 07:14 PM #9Originally Posted by
**t-lee**

-Dan