Two Trains

Two trains set out at 7 a.m., one headed from A to B and the other from B to A. The first reaches its destination in 8 hours, the second in 12. At what hour will the two trains pass one another?

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Square Meal

chomp example

In the game Chomp, two players begin with a rectangular grid. The first player chooses any square and removes it from the grid, together with all the squares above and to the right of it. The second player chooses one of the remaining squares and removes that, together with all the squares above it and to its right. The two take turns in this way until one of them is forced to remove the last square. That player loses.

If the starting grid is square, can either player force a win?

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A puzzle from R.M. Abraham’s Diversions & Pastimes, 1933:

A prisoner escapes from Dartmoor Prison and has half-an-hour’s start of two warders and a bloodhound who race after him. The warders’ speed is 4 miles per hour; the dog’s 12 miles per hour, but the prisoner can only do 3 miles per hour. The dog runs up to the prisoner and then back to the warders, and so on back and forth until the warders catch the prisoner. How far does the dog travel altogether?

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Mixed Emotions

A brainteaser by S. Ageyev, from the November-December 1991 issue of Quantum:

ageyev problem

Suppose that we change the signs of 50 of these numbers such that exactly half the numbers in each row and each column get a minus sign. Prove that the sum of all the numbers in the resulting table is zero.

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When Louis Philippe was deposed, why did he lose less than any of his subjects?

Because, while he lost only a crown, they lost a sovereign.

— Edith Bertha Ordway, The Handbook of Conundrums, 1915

Birds of a Feather

A problem from the February 2006 issue of Crux Mathematicorum:

Prove that if 10a + b is a multiple of 7 then a – 2b must be a multiple of 7 as well.

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sallows readouts puzzle

A puzzle by Lee Sallows. In this readout from a computer-driven electronic display, the digits in the fifth row have been obscured. What are they?

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A problem from Crux Mathematicorum, April 2006:

A group of people must be formed into committees. Show that the number of possible committees that can be formed with an odd number of members is the same as the number that can be formed with an even number of members. (Assume that a committee with no members and one that includes everyone are both allowed.)

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