In honor of the fact that I turn 24 today, I’m posting a puzzle that Deb posed to me, Anand, Breath, and Resa at a dimsum outing in San Francisco back in June. She really should have known better than to do this at a table of MIT alums, as the rest of the meal was very quiet while we all stared into space trying to figure it out.
Using only basic arithmetic operations (+,-,*,\), represent the number 24 using two 10s, a 2, and a 4. For example, representing 26 can be done as “10+10+2+4” or “2*10+10-4” (and if I was cool, like Anand, I’d write those equations in a LaTeX font — but obviously I’m not).
After two days of none of us getting it, Breath actually wrote a python script to solve this. In the meantime, my dad gave it to a guy at his work who solved it using his own brain power in 15 minutes. And how will you solve it? (The aforementioned people are not allowed to answer.)
And for a more historical look on this day that is sure to be a holiday at some point, check out last year’s entry.