Sunday, July 11, 2010

SAT tests for the really really gifted

For a real brain teaser, go to SAT's "question of the day" for July 11. Read the question, answer it if you like (that's the easy part) then copy and paste the question into your blog (as I did below), or into a text editor like Notepad (but not MS Word), or whatever. Now explain why "a bag of 50 marbles for 4$" magically becomes "a bag of 50 marbles for 5 dollars" when you paste it. If you have an explanation, please share in comments!

Troy bought a bag of 20 marbles for 2 dollars, a bag of 50 marbles for 5 dollars, and a bag of 100 marbles. If the average (arithmetic mean) cost of the marbles in all three bags was exactly 8 cents each, what was the price of the bag of 100 marbles?

Incidentally, if you subscribe to the email version of "question of the day" you'll receive the "5 dollars" version of the question. The answer I arrived at ($6.60) is not even offered as one of the multiple convinced me there was no place for me in higher education...

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