YouTube // TED-Ed
YouTube // TED-Ed

Can You Solve the Bridge Riddle?

YouTube // TED-Ed
YouTube // TED-Ed

If you like river crossing puzzles, you'll love this video. In a slight twist on the "cross the river with these annoying restrictions" formula, this TED-Ed lesson has you escaping zombies across a rickety bridge. With a few tries, you may be able to solve this...or you can just let the solution be explained to you. (Note: there is no "trick" or way-outside-the-box thinking; you just have to think through the different timing scenarios.)

For more on this, check out the TED-Ed lesson page.

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Can You Solve This Ice Cream Cone Riddle?
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How much is an ice cream cone worth? In this visual riddle by Budapest-based artist Gergely Dudás (who posts comics on Dudolf.com), the answer requires a little math.

The riddle asks you to determine how much an ice cream cone, a scoop of white-colored ice cream (let’s call it vanilla), and a scoop of pink-colored ice cream (let’s call it strawberry) are worth, according to the logic of the puzzle.

Stare at the equations for a while, then scroll down for the answer.

A math riddle that asks you to figure out what numbers each ice cream cone or scoop represents
Gergely Dudás

Ready?

Are you sure?

OK, let's walk through this.

Three ice cream cones multiplied together are equal to the number 27. Since 3 multiplied by 3 multiplied by 3 equals 27, each cone must be equal to 3.

Moving on to the next row, two ice cream cones each topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream added together equal 10. So since each cone equals 3, the vanilla scoops must each equal 2. (In other words, 3 plus 3 plus 2 plus 2 equals 10.)

Now, a double scoop of vanilla on a cone plus a single scoop of strawberry on a cone equals 11. So if a double-scoop of vanilla equals 4 (2 plus 2) and each cone is equal to 3, the strawberry scoop must equal 1. (Because 4 plus 6 equals 10, plus 1 for the strawberry scoop equals 11.)

And finally, one vanilla scoop on a cone, plus one empty cone, plus a double-scoop of strawberry and a single scoop of vanilla on a cone, all together equals 15. One scoop of vanilla on a cone is equal to 5 (2 plus 3), and an empty cone is equal to 3. Two strawberry scoops plus one vanilla scoop plus one cone can be calculated as 1 plus 1 plus 2 plus 3 (which comes out to 7). So together, one vanilla scoop (5) plus one cone (3) plus a triple scoop with two strawberries and one vanilla on a cone (7) equals 15.

And there you have it.

A cartoon-style legend that shows that one cone equals 3, one white scoop equals 2, and one pink scoop equals 1.
Gergely Dudás

If frozen dairy-themed challenges are your thing, he also has a hidden image puzzle that challenges you to find the lollipop in a field of ice cream cones. Check out more of his work on his website and Facebook.

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This Math Problem for 8-Year-Olds Left Parents Stumped
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Life for grade-schoolers has changed a lot in just a few decades. While students growing up in the pre-digital age had to suffer through insanely difficult homework in silence, kids (and their parents) today can share their frustrations on the internet.

According to Over Sixty, the latest assignment to go viral comes from the parenting message board Mumsnet. After posting their 8-year-old child's math homework on a forum, user lucysmam quickly saw that the other parents were just as baffled by it. Here's the problem:

“On the coast there are three lighthouses. The first light shines for 3 seconds, then it is off for 3 seconds. The second light shines for 4 seconds, then it is off for 4 seconds. The third light shines for 5 seconds, then it is off for 5 seconds. All three lights have just come on together.

When is the first time that all three of the lights will be off together?

When is the next time that all three lights will come on at exactly the same moment?”

Give up? The answer the parents came up with was 6 seconds for the first question and 120 seconds for the second one. The question becomes easier when you think of the lighthouses this way: The first one lights up every 6 seconds, the second one lights up every 8 seconds, and the third one lights up every 10 seconds. To calculate when all the lights will coincide, you need to find the lowest number divisible by six, eight, and 10, which comes out to 120.

When it comes to head-scratching elementary school lessons, this problem is just the start. If this viral problem is any indication, 6-year-olds have it even worse than 8-year-olds.

[h/t Over Sixty]

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