# Can you figure out the answer?

By acosjo

@acosjo (1904)

Canada

December 11, 2006 11:37am CST

A man is doing surveys in the neighbourhood. He comes to a house and a woman answers. The man asks if the woman has time for a survey, the woman says yes.
The man asks how many children are in the household, the woman replies 3. The man asks what are their ages. Instead of the woman giving their ages, she gives him hints (plays a game with him), here is what she says.
The ages of all three children multiply up to 36.
When you add up all the ages, the number you get is on the house next door (hint: don't think of your own neighbourhood, it's just a number).
So the man goes next door and sees the number on the house. He comes back and says to the woman "Madam, I need some more information".
The woman says, "My oldest child is sleeping upstairs".
He gives her all the ages of her children.
What are the ages?

2 people like this

7 responses

@hockeygal4ever (10024)

• United States

27 Dec 06

lol... do u just TRY to drive us crazy?????? There are a zillion ways to come up with 36 but how would we know the number on the house next door? The guy went next door to see the number so he has an extra hint!!!! I'm holding my breath until I get more information!!!! LOL
*hurry... i'm turning .... BLUE*

1 person likes this

@acosjo (1904)

• Canada

27 Dec 06

HERE IS THE ANSWER & WHY! 9,2,2
The 3 ages of all children multiply to 36, therefore you must find ALL combinations that multiply to 36.
Once you have all the combinations that multiply to 36, here is where you must use the other clue. All ages of the children add up to the number on the house next door.
Now, if you add up all the numbers in each combination (that multiply to 36) you will notice 2 combinations that add up to 13 (9,2,2 and 6,6,1). All other combinations added up to something else.
For argument sake, if he saw the number 16 on the house next door, he would have known the ages were 12,3,1.
Remember, the man needed more information from the lady. Why? Because when he went to the other house, he saw 13 (two combinations that add up to 13).
"The oldest one is sleeping upstairs" means 9,2,2 is the only possible answer.
Make sense?
Problem solving people!

@fuinharlz (8)

• Brazil

28 Dec 06

didn't got Y 9,2,2 is the only possible answer just because the oldest one is sleeping up stairs...
I swear I didn't got the point of this...

@acosjo (1904)

• Canada

28 Dec 06

Let me explain again.
You have to get all combinations (of three numbers) that multiply to 36. Once you do that, you add up all the combinations example 6+3+2=11
The man went to the next door and saw a number. IF he saw 11, then he would have known it was 6,3,2 and the riddle would have been finished.
BUT he needed more info, why? because if you notice, there are 2 combinations that add up to 13 (9,2,2 and 6,6,1).
If the oldest one is sleeping upstairs then 9,2,2 is the answer of the two.
Understand?

1 person likes this

@tarachand (3895)

• India

27 Dec 06

The simplest combination that I can (for all the chuildren having differnt ages) think of is: 6,3 and 2.This makes it 11 as the number of the house next door.
The other one where there are twins is 4,3,3 or totalling 10 as the number of the house next door.
Now you could (though not always) find a 6 or 4 (te age of the oldest child) year old sleeping in the day time, assuming that the surveyor has normal working hours.