We love a good puzzle or riddle around here, so when we heard about the latest brain teaser making the rounds on the internet, we just had to check it out. This time, it’s a math-themed puzzle, so fair warning: We had to put on our thinking caps for this one.
Originally shared by Presh Talwalkar, the blogger behind the puzzle website Mind Your Decisions, this math problem is a lot harder than it looks. It asks us: “Can you make 24 from the numbers 3, 3, 8, and 8? You can only use the operations + – x / (). You have to use all four numbers.”
At first glance, the problem seems pretty doable. After all, we have a lot of options of operations to use, and the numbers don’t appear to be that difficult to work with. But when it suddenly hit us that we had to use all four of those numbers to somehow get to 24, things got a lot more complicated. If you’re anything like us, you’re probably wishing for the days of third grade multiplication tables. Back then, all we had to do was multiply 8 and 3 to get 24! But hey, we asked for a mental workout here, and we definitely got one.
As it turns out, the reason why the brain teaser makes us scratch our heads so much has a lot to do with the fact that there is only one possible solution. And yes, it does involve fractions and divisions — a couple of which can be difficult to solve on many computers due to possible rounding errors. (Perfect time for technology to let us down…) Watch the video below to find the solution and hear Talwalkar’s full explanation.
If you got it right on your own using paper and a pencil, be sure to pat yourself on the back — that was not easy!
h/t Pop Sugar