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Riddle of the Week #34: Two Wizards Ride a Bus


This week we take a look at a notoriously tricky math puzzle, one originally penned by English mathematician John Conway back in the 1960s. Apparently he was riding the bus home one evening when he encountered a pair of wizards.

Last night I sat behind two wizards on a bus and overheard the following:

Blue Wizard: I have a positive integer number of children, whose ages are positive integers. The sum of their ages is the number of this bus, while the product is my own age.

Red Wizard: How interesting! Perhaps if you told me your age and the number of your children, I could work out their individual ages?

Blue Wizard: No, you could not.

Red Wizard: Aha! At last, I know how old you are!

Apparently the Red Wizard had been trying to determine the Blue Wizard’s age for some time. Now, what was the number of the bus?

read more at popularmechanics.com

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