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 Outside the Box: Happy Mother's Day

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TheSleepingDragon

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PostSubject: Outside the Box: Happy Mother's Day   6/27/2010, 03:05

Here's a quirky little problem for you.

The family in question consists of a father, a mother, and an only child.

The father is half a century, half a decade and half a year older than his only child.
The father is the mother's age once and then twice over again.
The difference between the child's age and the mother's is 2 short of the legal drinking age in the United States.

What has the mother finished?
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Liz Anscombe

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PostSubject: Ergh.   7/7/2010, 12:42

.....I was following along until it got to the "What has the mother finished?"

>.>
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TheSleepingDragon

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PostSubject: Re: Outside the Box: Happy Mother's Day   7/8/2010, 17:09

That would be the hint.
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Liz Anscombe

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PostSubject: Re: Outside the Box: Happy Mother's Day   7/9/2010, 00:57

O.o

I'm confused.
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TheSleepingDragon

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PostSubject: Re: Outside the Box: Happy Mother's Day   7/9/2010, 11:17

Here's another. Find the ages of each of the people involved. That should tell you everything you need to know.
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Liz Anscombe

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PostSubject: My guess...   7/9/2010, 13:36

High school? lol

If the mother is 2 less than legal drinking age older than the child, mommy-dearest was 19 when she had the kid.
Dad, being mom and twice over, would put him at 40 when she was 20.. Making the kid 1.
Being that young, it makes sense that the only thing she would've accomplished thus far in her life would be high school...

I think. O.o
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TheSleepingDragon

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PostSubject: Re: Outside the Box: Happy Mother's Day   7/10/2010, 00:14

Sadly I must, again, reject your solution.

Rather wonderful catch and great solution attempt though. I had to go back and recheck my mathematics to make sure that something hadn't happened.

The only reason I am forced to declare your solution invalid, however, is because you did not find the correct ages and so therefore were not able to determine the event. Otherwise, it's an excellent bit of thinking.

However, I will say that the mother's age is VERY close to 19.
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Liz Anscombe

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PostSubject: Re: Outside the Box: Happy Mother's Day   7/10/2010, 12:29

Haha. I'm just going to cry. I'm going to keep trying to figure this out.. This and the boat / husbands / wives questions are killing me... I have little scribble pictures and numbers all over.. Haha. Thanks for working out the brain muscle.. >.> Ha
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Liz Anscombe

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PostSubject: Another attempt...   7/11/2010, 00:10

Alrighty.. Here I go again... Probably wrong but attempting...

I have been forgetting a child's age from 0-1 years old... The difference may be 19 years (2 less than the legal drinking age of 21) but that's including the 0-1. The kid would be 18 and mommy-dearest would be 37... Given the common fact of 18 is an adult, I could logically say she just finished parenting... Completely letting go of father's age, which... At 18, the father would be 73 and a half years old... O.o Ew. lol
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TheSleepingDragon

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PostSubject: Re: Outside the Box: Happy Mother's Day   7/11/2010, 23:56

Great attempt, and wonderfully creative! I especially enjoy the age difference between the father and the mother (He would to have married [at most] a 19 year old at age 55 1/2).

However, again incorrect. Note that the father is not the mother's age once and then twice over again.

I set up three age equations in three variables so that there is only one possible set of ages.

It would best be to your benefit to write down the equations of each person's age and then solve them using algebra.
Though, I will admit that figuring out exactly what the equations are is the hard part; that requires figuring out exactly what I'm saying. (Whee!)
The hint there is pretty simple: we mathematicians tend to think very literally.

Also, I'm pretty sure that a mother is never finished parenting. Nor the father for that matter, but that's more a philosophical point than a mathematical one.
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Liz Anscombe

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PostSubject: Re: Outside the Box: Happy Mother's Day   7/12/2010, 00:08

TheSleepingDragon wrote:
Here's a quirky little problem for you.

The family in question consists of a father, a mother, and an only child.

The father is half a century, half a decade and half a year older than his only child.
The father is the mother's age once and then twice over again.
The difference between the child's age and the mother's is 2 short of the legal drinking age in the United States.

What has the mother finished?



.......>.> Contradiction! lol
Again, I must surrender. I have been trying to figure this out for days and now my brain hurts. I surrender this question to the other thinkers of this forum. (:
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TheSleepingDragon

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PostSubject: Re: Outside the Box: Happy Mother's Day   7/12/2010, 00:13

Yikes!
If there's an inbuilt contradiction then it's unsolvable!
Where might this contradiction be?

Also, I'm rather sorry that you're giving up on this one as well! You were an amazing contender, and I was quite looking forward to your creative solution of the problem!

I must also admit that I did not solve this one myself, personally. I caught it off a movie (Fermat's Room) and was unable to solve it in the 3 minutes before they just spat the answer out. I sincerely doubt I could have been able to anyways considering the exceedingly counterintuitive nature of the problem.
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Liz Anscombe

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PostSubject: Last guess.   7/12/2010, 00:16

Throwing one last stab at it..... Is the child not born yet? My last guess is the mother just finished making love. No ages, no nothing. lol
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TheSleepingDragon

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PostSubject: Re: Outside the Box: Happy Mother's Day   7/12/2010, 00:18

DING DING DING DING DING!
The child is exactly -3/4 of a year old, which translates into 9 months.
As a result, your answer is absolutely correct!
This puzzle is now considered solved by Miss Liz Anscombe!
Congratulations!

For further reference the mother is 18 1/4. I can't exactly remember the father's age at this point in time, but that should easily be enough to work it back out.
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Liz Anscombe

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PostSubject: Woot~   7/12/2010, 00:23

Yayy (:

Thanks for the mental workout. Haha
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