By Scott Kim|Thursday, November 25, 2004


Gifted youngsters from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development’s Young Scholars Program ( supplied the puzzles for “More Than Kid Stuff” (Bogglers, Discover, June 2003). Nearly a year and a half later, the kids are back. The challenge we gave them was to reinvent classic puzzles by adding new twists. Here are their creations.

Magic Numbers

[Easy]  Find two numbers that when multiplied produce the same result as they do when they are added together. Fractions are not allowed. Hint: The two numbers do not have to be different from each other.

[Easy]  Find another answer to the same question.

[Challenging] If one of the two numbers is 3, what is the other number? Fractions are allowed.

[Difficult]  Find three different numbers that when multiplied together give the same result as when they are added together. Fractions are not allowed. How many solutions can you find?

Hungry Scientists

1. [Easy]  Four scientists get together for dinner. Their first names are Max, Charles, Fred, and Susan. Four place cards on the table show only their last names: Osmium, Tissue, Infinity, and Radian. Can you match the first and last names of each of the scientists from the clues below?

a. Radian’s first name contains an r.

b. No one’s first initial appears in his or her last name.

c. Charles’s last name is also an element.

Hint: Mark an X in a box below if you know that this combination of first and last names is incorrect. Place a black dot in the box if the combination is correct. For example, the X below indicates that Max’s last name is not Radian, because we know that Radian’s first name must contain an r. Make similar charts for the next two problems.

                                                               LAST NAME

 OsmiumTissue    Infinity   Radian
Max    x



2. [Challenging]  The four scientists sit at a round table. Determine each scientist’s field based on the clues below.

a. Susan sits across from the biologist.

b. Fred sits to the right of the chemist.

c. The geologist and Fred are both short.

d. The geologist and the physicist sit opposite each other.

e. Max and the geologist both practice tae kwon do.  

3. [Difficult] Each scientist comes from a different country and orders something different for dinner. Match the scientists, countries, and meals using the clues below.

a. The Canadian orders fish.

b. The German and Susan are former schoolmates.

c. Neither Fred nor the Spanish scientist orders steak.

d. Charles and the vegetarian have never met before.

e. Neither Max nor the English scientist eats chicken.

f. The vegetarian has never been to Spain.

g. Max, the steak eater, and the German all went to different schools.

Rose Rows

A gardener wants to plant rosebushes in pleasing patterns. She plants the first group of 6 rosebushes in the pattern shown below, with 4 rows of 3 rosebushes each.

1. [Easy]  How can she plant 7 rosebushes so they form 6 straight lines of 3 rosebushes each? 2. [Challenging] How can she plant 10 rosebushes so they form 5 straight lines of 4 rosebushes each?

3. [Challenging]  How can she plant 19 rosebushes so they form 9 straight lines of 5 rosebushes each?

4. [Difficult]  Find another answer for each of the three previous rosebush challenges. Hint: Move one rosebush while leaving most of the others alone to see how the pattern changes.

Click here for Boggler Solutions

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