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New Scientist puzzle #42: The card conundrum


Scientist

New Scientist puzzle #42: The card conundrum

15 January 2020 #42 The card conundrum Carl scribbled down an equation that contained only numbers and the letter x on a scrap of paper and left it on a table. Bob found the card and realised that this was just a straightforward algebra problem. “I’ve found the solution,” he announced a minute later, dropping…

New Scientist puzzle #42: The card conundrum

15 January 2020

#42 The card conundrum

Carl scribbled down an equation that contained only numbers and the letter x on a scrap of paper and left it on a table.

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Bob found the card and realised that this was just a straightforward algebra problem. “I’ve found the solution,” he announced a minute later, dropping the card back on the table and leaving the room. Amy overheard him, walked over and picked up the card. After a while she announced: “That’s strange, I’ve found TWO solutions.”

Even stranger, Amy’s solutions were both different to Bob’s. What were the solutions that Bob and Amy …

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