June’s Newsletter Riddle – Answer

Wow! This one was really quite a stumper.

The Riddle:

One day your minimalist friend is visiting, and she presents you with the numbers 2, 3, 4 and 5, and the symbols = and +, and the following tantalizing challenge: Is it possible to use each number and symbol once and only once and end up with a true equation; further, you cannot use any number or symbol not given. How can you do this?

My first thought was well thats easy 2 + 3 = 5.

But then I realised i had left out the 4 and needed to include ALL 4 numbers. Uh-oh!

What now?

After much brain scratching, three or four cups of coffee, I was still nowhere.

Then I thought oh! 2 + 5 = 3 + 4.

But no… I could only use the plus sign once.

Back to square one again…

I thought if only there were a 1 and then I thought nope, 1 wont make any difference.

I really had to think outside of thebox on this one:

What maths could I do that didnt require a symbol… Hmmm…

Certainly not times, divide or subtract or square root… but an exponent might work:

  • ok we can have 32 = 9 or 42 = 16 or 52 = 25
  • the only numbers left that add up to the exponent answer is 4 and 5.
  • So the fnal answer is 32 = 4 + 5.

Shoo, that was a tough one!. For the next riddle check out the July/August Newsletter.

Contact Us