Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle? - MensTennisForums.com
View Poll Results: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?
Under 2% 0 0%
2-5% 0 0%
5-10% 2 25.00%
10-25% 3 37.50%
25-50% 1 12.50%
Over 50% 2 25.00%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

Been debating this with a couple people. The conditions are:

- Test subject is alone in the room, and cannot ask anyone to clarify parts he did not understand. He only has the paper with the question written on it.
- Test subject is allowed to use a calculator and has blank paper if he needs to write stuff down.
- Time limit of 1 hour.
- When submitting an answer, he must submit a single number. No additional verbal explanation.

The riddle:


ROGER FEDERER

'Roger Federer is the best ever' - Everyone else other than John McEnroe*

*Not anymore...

4 AO - 1 RG - 7 W - 5 USO

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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:00 PM
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Re: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

That's an easy one, no?
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:04 PM
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Re: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

For me it took a few seconds but I think that some non-mathematical brains could have problem with it

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Last edited by Supercell; 02-11-2016 at 09:07 PM.
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:08 PM
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Re: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

It depends on the year. If it's 365 days, then 366 items will be enough.

You can have the same shirt or pair of pants everyday with only the other item changing every day (365 shirts or 365 pants).

1 + 365 = 366


Done in 2 seconds. (Not saying this is the right answer, just what I'd do without doing maths.)

Last edited by Ace Pounder; 02-11-2016 at 09:12 PM.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:09 PM
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Re: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace Pounder View Post
It depends on the year. If it's 365 days, then 366 items will be enough.

You can have the same shirt or pair of pants everyday with only the other item changing every day (365 shirts or 365 pants).

1 + 365 = 366


Done in 2 seconds.
Wrong. You need only 39 items.

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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:11 PM
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Re: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

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Wrong. You need only 39 items.
I'm probably wrong, I didn't want to make it complicated.

I'd do it like that, 365+1
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:14 PM
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Re: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

If I was still in high school and university where I was doing combinatorics regularly I could probably figure it out, but now that other stuff has been crammed into my brain I would likely need help.

Unless it's some trick in the way it's worded and answer is something like 3, because then there would be two days where is wearing something different.

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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:15 PM
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Re: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

@Pratik needs to confirm @Supercell 's 39.

(And why limit this to Americans?)
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:17 PM
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Re: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

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Originally Posted by Loosie View Post
If I was still in high school and university where I was doing combinatorics regularly I could probably figure it out, but now that other stuff has been crammed into my brain I would likely need help.

Unless it's some trick in the way it's worded and answer is something like 3, because then there would be two days where is wearing something different.
You need 19 shirts and 20 pants (or vice versa) which gives you 19*20=380 different possibilities of wearing. There is no pair of natural numbers (a, b) for which both conditions occur: a+b<39 and a*b>=365. Thus it's an optimal solution.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:18 PM
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Re: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loosie View Post
If I was still in high school and university where I was doing combinatorics regularly I could probably figure it out, but now that other stuff has been crammed into my brain I would likely need help.

Unless it's some trick in the way it's worded and answer is something like 3, because then there would be two days where is wearing something different.
It's too easy to call it combinatorics, it's just the inequality of arithmetic and geometric means. And Supercell's answer is correct, of course.
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:19 PM
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Re: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

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Originally Posted by Supercell View Post
Wrong. You need only 39 items.
Correct. And you still get 14/15 combinations to spare

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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:21 PM
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Re: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

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It's too easy to call it combinatorics, it's just the inequality of arithmetic and geometric means. And Supercell's answer is correct, of course.
Yes, this is a pretty basic one. You'd expect anyone with at least an elementary level of Maths to solve it without any problem, regardless of nationality.

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Suicide Tennis (5): Wimbledon 2014, World Tour Finals 2015, Madrid 2015, Kuala Lumpur 2014 and Metz 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 WTF, 1 Masters 1000, 2 ATP 250; 2 finals lost

Fill-in-the-Draw (3): US Open 2014, Rotterdam 2013 and Geneva 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 ATP 500 and 1 ATP 250

Tennis Tipping (3): Veneza and Todi 2014 (with vn01), Knoxville 2015 (with Redkop) - 3 challengers; 7 finals lost
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:22 PM
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Re: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

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Correct. And you still get 14/15 combinations to spare
Yeah, for some special occasions

I picked 25-50 percent range but IMO it would be closer to 25 percent than to 50. Many people have problems even with basic mathematical thinking.

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Last edited by Supercell; 02-11-2016 at 09:26 PM.
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:25 PM
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Re: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

Yeah, ok, but without groping around, is there a way to get to that result? (39)

I mean, I could do that. 20*15 = 300, not enought -> 20*18 = 360, not enough -> 20*19 = 380 , more than enough, yyyeeeah!
But what is the most scientific approach to it?
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:25 PM
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Re: Which percentage of adult Americans would successfully solve this riddle?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercell View Post
Yeah, for some special occasions
Indeed

As for the question, I don't know much about the education system in America, but I'll assume that anyone who gets to high school can solve this 'riddle', especially if given 1 hour to do it as the OP suggests.

MTF games titles:

Suicide Tennis (5): Wimbledon 2014, World Tour Finals 2015, Madrid 2015, Kuala Lumpur 2014 and Metz 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 WTF, 1 Masters 1000, 2 ATP 250; 2 finals lost

Fill-in-the-Draw (3): US Open 2014, Rotterdam 2013 and Geneva 2015 - 1 Slam, 1 ATP 500 and 1 ATP 250

Tennis Tipping (3): Veneza and Todi 2014 (with vn01), Knoxville 2015 (with Redkop) - 3 challengers; 7 finals lost
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