January 2018 Menu

**Target Practice Plus #8**

**“Uncle Bob”**

Here’s a new twist on a familiar activity: using simple arithmetic, construct a target number from a given set of numbers. For example, let’s construct 135 from the set

{2, 3, 4, 15, 50, 100}

We must use only the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division. Numbers in the set can be used only once in the solution. One solution is

(2 + 3 + 4) x 15 = 135

You can see that using grouping symbols is also permitted, or in other words, the final result can be made from preliminary ones, as in

2 + 3 + 4 = 9

9 x 15 = 135.

Here’s the twist. The solution above uses four of the six given numbers. Can we find a more concise solution? I find that this activity requires me to be creative and flexible in my thinking. We'd like a second solution, if it exists, to use fewer than four members of the set. I found one using three numbers, and you may have too:

100 + 50 – 15 = 135

Try these three challenges. I rank them as easy, medium, and medium in difficulty.

1. Make 6 from {5, 9, 13, 21, 35, 100}. There are several solutions using three or four of the numbers. Can you use all six?

2. Make 143 from {2, 5, 7, 15, 25, 50}. Can you succeed using 5 and then just four of the set. Use all 6?

3. Make 47 from {3, 5, 11, 29, 75, 200}. There are a pair of solutions when using 4 or 5 of the set.

solutions

January 2018 Menu

To the top

Uncle Bob's Puzzle Corner
| Get UBPMonthly FREE | Email
Uncle Bob

© All rights reserved