Departments: The Waiting Room
Scott, Kim Ph.D.
This puzzle tests your ability to reason about numbers.
Suppose you roll three dice. The three numbers might be all different, or some numbers might be the same. Let's say you find that when you multiply the three top numbers together, you get a result that is the same as when you add the three numbers together. What three numbers did you roll? There is only one solution.
DICE: JOACHIM ANGELT...Image Tools
For instance, if you roll the numbers 1, 3, 4, then multiplying the three numbers gives you 12, while adding the numbers gives you 8. The numbers 12 and 8 are not the same, so we know that 1, 3, 4 is not the answer.
Hint: this puzzle does take a little while to solve, but it is not as hard as it looks. Try different combinations of numbers until you find one that works, starting with small numbers.
Bonus puzzle: Once again you roll three dice. This time you find that when you multiply the three top numbers together, you get a result that is twice as large as when you add the three numbers together. What three numbers did you roll? There are two different solutions to this puzzle.
These puzzles were adapted from the book The Playful Brain: The Surprising Science of How Puzzles Improve Your Mind, by Richard Restak and Scott Kim (Riverhead Books 2010). For more information, visit theplayfulbrain.com.
Answers on p. 14