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1/15/2017 9:59:32 PM

Posts: 171
Hi Dell editors (and everyone else!),

Page 47 of the 3/17 Math & Logic issue features a Cryptic Math puzzle. I have a question about how the solution was reached for M and N.

For those unfamiliar, you have a 3x3 grid:


Each letter stands for a number 1-9. You get clues to identify which number goes in which space. The clues for this puzzle are as follows:

1. Each row across consists of three consecutive numbers, in some order.
2. O is evenly divided by both P and R, neither of which equals 1.
3. L = 7.
4. (2 x J) + R = M x N

The first clue means each row has three of the nine numbers in order. To achieve this the the three rows would have to house one of the following clusters in some sequence:


L = 7, so the top row gets the 7-8-9 in some order. P and R evenly divides into O, so P and R must be 2 and 3, in some order, and O is 6. That means M and N has to be 4 and 5 in some order. Clue number four doesn't reveal which is which, just that they're multiplied together.

The solution says by clue number 1, M is 5 and N is 4. How is that achieved? "In some order" could mean in consecutive order, couldn't it? Or does in some order always mean that they're mixed up somehow? I know this is used in Figure Logics as well, so perhaps for all these years I've made this slightly harder on myself.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide,

1/15/2017 10:33:50 PM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
I don't know how the editors got their solution, but I will say that "in some order" means "might be a cockamamie order, or might be truly consecutive ascending order or truly consecutive descending order." It doesn't HAVE to mean "cockamamie order."

So maybe the editors left one assumption out?
edited by Amy-in-PA on 1/15/2017


6/13/2017 1:23:28 PM

Posts: 1
This can actually be solved mathematically as a matrix. As a hint, take a look at this concept - Representing a linear system as a matrix, and you will see what I mean.
You are actually solving for an unknown in matrix form (i.e. a 3x3 table, or matrix)
Hopefully that will give you sufficient information to solve this puzzle!

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