A lot of hoo haa is going around at the moment regarding an 11 year old lad outwitting Carol Vorderman on an episode of Countdown recently. I’m not going to link to the article, as every article I’ve seen has a link to what I’m going to say next, but here’s an image of him – Mr. Bradley Cates.
For the foreign audience, Countdown is a British mid-afternoon game show popular amongst students, grannies and the unemployable, which has a few word games (you get 9 letters, and make as big a word as possible) and a few number games. The number game involves 6 numbers (small numbers being 1-10 and large numbers being 25, 50, 75 and 100), and you have to use those 6 numbers to make a big randomly generated number. The massive press coverage at the moment relates to Mr. Cates managing to answer the puzzle, and the resident mathelete Carol Vorderman (right), couldn’t.
Anywho, this was the puzzle. Using the numbers 2, 4, 5, 9, 10 and 100 – make 566. Their hailing this kid to be a genius, I’m not so sure. No disresepect to the kid, but I got it in 30 seconds. I think Carol Vorderman is getting a bit stupider now, must be all those loan adverts she’s doing.
Or maybe it’s just me and him are – to quote Jose Mourinho – “Special Ones”. Can you solve it? E-mail the answer to firstname.lastname@example.org remember to show your working – rather than posting a comment (you can post a boasting comment in the box, to claim your intellectual superiority), and I’ll tell you if you’re right or not.
EDIT: After MrManuel’s solution, I should also point out something. You’re only allowed addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Though I’m willing to let that slide if you (Rick, it’s you’re general direction I’m looking in) are able to use as many complex maths functions (sines, cosecant, integrals, imaginary numbers) as possible too. You can put your over complicated answers in the comment box.
If you have heard the story, please don’t be an arse and google it. You’re only cheating yourself.