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Census Puzzle

September 13th, 2006

alecmce

I’ve lost the origin of this puzzle, but it has a unique solution. It’s a good puzzle for bright students at KS3 & KS4 to frown about 

A census taker comes to a man’s home. Upon inquiring about the ages of his three children, he receives the following reply: “If you multiply their ages, you get 72. Furthermore, the sum of their ages is the house number”, which the census taker knows.

The census taker considers the situation for a moment, then says: “Okay. I need one more piece of information.”

“Sure thing”, replies the man. “My oldest child loves chocolate.” The census taker smiles, thanks the man, and walks away.
How old are the man’s three children?

One Comment

  1. May 3, 2007

    SPOILER:

    {8,3,3} is the only ambiguous sum with an “oldest”. Nice site.

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