Friday, May 09, 2008

your age by chocolate

Current work: MH duo book 1
Listening to: Bach
Reading: Natasha Oakley, Wanted: White Wedding (finished it last night and really enjoyed it)

I’m still full of lurgy (someone has sandpapered my throat, I’m freezing but sweating at the same time, and I really should buy shares in Kleenex – not to mention the cough from hell) so today I’m going to give you a mathematical puzzle in which you can tell your age by chocolate. (Work it out as you read; don’t cheat by looking at the end.)

  1. Pick the number of chocolates you’d like to eat today (between 1 and 9)
  2. Double it (just to be greedy)
  3. Add 5
  4. Multiply by 50
  5. If you have already had your birthday this year, add 1758 – if not, add 1757.
  6. Subtract the four-digit year of your birth.
You should have a three digit number.The first digit is the number of chocolates you’d like to eat per day; the next two numbers are your age.

(NB obviously that only works for this year - you need to tweak the mathematical equation for it to work next year)


Margaret McDonagh said...

No idea how but it worked! It's too much for my non-mathematical brain to process!

So sorry you are feeling so grim. Big [[[hugs]]]. Get well soon.

Mags xx

Melissa Marsh said...

Sometimes I wish I understood the magic of numbers because these types of equations are so cool!

Feel better soon, Kate!

Ellen said...

Can't believe that actually worked. But then anything mathematical is a mystery to me.

Kate Hardy said...

glad you enjoyed the puzzle. This is how it works:

1. the number you pick is X
2. multiply by 2: 2X
3. Add 5: 2X + 5
4. Multiply by 50: 100X + 250
5. Add 1758 (if you had your birthday this year): 100X+2008
6: Subtract the year you were born (Y): 100X + (2008 - Y).

(2008 - Y): The current year minus the year you were born = your age. As your age is likely to be a 2 digit number, when you add 100X you get a 3 digit number in the format XAA, where X is the number you originally picked and AA is your age.

You can simplify that even further to:
1. Pick a number
2. multiply it by 100 and add 250
3. add the four-digit year of your birth and subtract 250 (if you had your birthday) or 251 (if you haven’t had your birthday)

... but then the process is really obvious and not so much fun!