By Jane Austen
Question: When my first is a task to a young girl of spirit,
And my second confines her to finish the piece,
How hard is her fate! But how great is her merit
If by taking my whole she effects her release!
Question: A man wants to have a party in thirty-one days where he will be serving his 1000 barrels of wine. The only problem is that one of his enemies poisoned one of the barrels. The poison kills any man who drinks any of the wine in about 30 days, give or take a few hours. The man has 10 plants that are also killed by the poison in 30 days and can be used to test the wine. How can identify the single poisoned barrel of wine?
Answer: To do this the man must create 1000 unique groups from the 10 plants in which each group has between 1 and 10 plants, and give each plant wine from a different barrel. He can then throw away the barrel of wine that corresponds to the group that died from the wine.
Question: A fast food restaurant sells chicken in orders of 6, 9, and 20.
What is the largest number of pieces of chicken you cannot order from this restaurant?
After 6 all numbers divisible by 3 can be ordered (because they can all be expressed as a sum of 6's and 9's). After 26, all numbers divisible by three when subtracted by 20 can be obtained. After 46, all numbers divisible by three when subtracted by 40 can be obtained. After 46, all numbers fit into one of these 3 categories, so all numbers can be obtained. 43 is the last number that doesn't fall into one of these categories (44 = 20 + 6 * 4, 45 = 6 * 6 + 9).
Question: Sum Sam and Product Pete are in class when their teacher gives Sam the Sum of two numbers and Pete the product of the same two numbers (these numbers are greater than or equal to 2). They must figure out the two numbers.
Sam: I don't know what the numbers are Pete.
Pete: I knew you didn't know the numbers... But neither do I.
Sam: In that case, I do know the numbers.
What are the numbers?
Answer: The numbers are 3 and 4.
Since Sam knows the sum of the numbers (x + y) he would only know the answer immediately if the sum was 4 (2 + 2) or 5 (3 + 2). Then when Pete (who knows x*y) knew that Sam didn't know the answer the product must have several numbers that add up to the sum (7 = 3 + 4, 7 = 5 + 2). When Pete doesn't know the answer at this point we know the product must have more than one pair of viable factors (12 = 3 * 4, 12 = 6 * 2). At this point Sam knows the numbers are 3 and 4 because they are the only numbers that meet these criteria.
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