Subject: Re: Kids' ages
Date: Mon, 26 May 1997 07:19:54 -0400
From: Alexander Bogomolny
First, try writing down all the triples of integers whose product is 36. Their sum must be ambigous for the information the vicar had (a house's number) was not sufficient to answer the question. Only two triples
2 2 9, and
1 6 6
have the same sum. If the vicar's son is older than 9 the problem is obviously unsolvable. Yet the vicar was able to solve the problem. Therefore, his son's age is below 9. Hence the solution: 1 6 6.