Math puzzles – think like a school child first, before going in search of formulas!

Posted: January 28, 2013 by Sankar Vijayakumar in Mathematics, Scribbles
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When we get a math puzzle, what’s the first thing we do?
We lose ourselves in search of formulas, logarithms etc. but we should know that most of the mathematical puzzles are based on simple logic which doesn’t need any complex formula or equation. We should think like an LP school child. There’s no need to think too much at the beginning itself.
Every puzzle demands mainly 3 steps:

1. Analyze the puzzle and understand it.
2. Use our logic.
3. Think wisely.

Math puzzles – think like a school child first, before going in search of formulas!

Feeling bored? Let’s have some fun. Here we go:

4, 6, 16, 54, ?

Find the number after 54 in the above sequence of numbers. No complex formula or equations needed. Just use your common sense.

How to solve Math Problems?

1. Find out what exactly is the problem is asking for.
2. Note down the hints given.
3. Use pen/pencil and paper to help yourself. If the problem is about calculating percentages draw circles and divide them according to the data given. Diagrams can simply the puzzles.
4. Check the units given – if the measurements are in different units, convert to a single unit which is easy for us.
5. Multiple choice puzzles– Go through the options after understanding the puzzle and strike out the ones that doesn’t match the required criteria.
6. Make use of the above 5 steps and find the answer 🙂 !

Before winding up this post let me ask you one more mathematical puzzle:

9, 11, ?, 51, 119, 249

Find the number between 11 and 51 in the above sequence of numbers. As said earlier – No complex formula or equations needed. Just use your common sense.
The answers will be posted soon. Did you find the answer ❓

1. For 4,6,16,54, ?

I think my answer is 232

Explaination: 4*2=8-2=6
6*3=18-2=16
16*4=64-10=54
54*5=270-38=232
where(2,10,38 is difference between that number with previous number)

Is that correct?

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• Sankar says:

Great!
I think that’s also a solutions to the puzzle :).

My solution is as follows:

(4+2)*1 = 6
(6+2)*2 = 16
(16+2)*3 = 54
(54+2)*4 = 224

So what about my second puzzle (9, 11, ?, 51, 119, 249) ?

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2. For second puzzle(9,11,?, 51, 119, 249)

Solution is= 9*1+2=11
11*2+1=23
23*2+5=51
51*2+7=119
119*2+11=249

is it correct?

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• Sankar says:

Can you please tell me from where did you get that 2,1,5,7,11 ?
Also at first it is 9*1 and then 11*2, 23*2 etc.

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3. I thought as 9 is given for confusion so in others numbers we mutiply by 2 and then add(1,5,7,11 all are prime numbers).is it not correct?
i’ll solve it by another way. 🙂

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4. Yes i solve that hop it is correct.

For puzzle(9,11,?,51,119,249)