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?