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Maths Week puzzles: The Answers

Each morning this week we’ve been tickling your brains with numerical teasers – here are the answers you’ve been waiting for.

EACH MORNING, THIS week we’ve been entertaining – or torturing, as it may be – your 11 o’clock break with a maths teaser.

We haven’t been doing it out of sheer cruelty – all this week, libraries, colleges, universities and other groups have been running events to highlight and the practical benefits of basic numeracy skills to our everyday life.

And here are the answers you’ve been waiting for. Let us know how you did…

Monday’s puzzle:

The Budget is expected to make adjustments of €2.5 billion. We’ll have to make our euros stretch as far as we can. Imagine you place 2.5 billion euros in a row: what’s the furthest it would stretch? (One euro coin is 23.25mm across)

A. Dublin to Cork

B. Dublin to New York

C. Around the equator

D. Forty times around the coast of Ireland

Answer: D. Forty times around the coast of Ireland – 58,125km.

Tuesday’s puzzle:

Some predict that the VAT rate for restaurants will be put up from 9% to 13.5% later today. If you pay €100 for a meal out at present, what would you pay for the same meal in January at 13.5% VAT?

A. €96

B. €104.13

C. €104.50

D. €113.50

Answer: B. €104.13

Wednesday’s puzzle:

Annual membership to your gym costs €600 but you can pay as you go for €12 a visit. If you plan going at least once a week which is the best value?

A. Annual membership

B. Pay as you go

Answer: A. Annual membership

Thursday’s puzzle:

In a competition with cash prizes the second place is to get half the amount that first place gets. Third place will get a third and fourth place is to get a quarter. To ensure that fourth place gets €1,500 how much prize money is needed overall?

Answer: €12,500.

Fourth place gets €1,500 – that is a quarter of first place. Then first place gets €6,000. Second place gets half of this – €3,000. Third place gets a third – €2,000.

This morning’s puzzle:

A large tea is €1.20, a medium tea is €1, while a small is 60c. I buy 10 teas for €10, how many teas and of what size do I get?

Answer: There are four possible answers.

6 large, 1 medium, 3 small.

4 large, 4 medium, 2 small.

2 large, 7 medium, 1 small.

0 large, 10 medium, 0 small.

‘Fear of maths’ affecting careers and the economy>

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