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Maths Week: Your Sunday puzzle

Fancy another mathematics challenge? (And get the answer to yesterday’s puzzle.)

TODAY IS THE final puzzle we have for you this Maths Week… let us know in the comments how you’ve been doing with our puzzles.

Day eight - How long is a week?

Well, we take a bit of license with nine days when it’s Maths Week as there is too much activity to fit into seven days. This year over 500,000 people have engaged with Maths Week. Our purpose is to promote a positive attitude towards maths, so that people can succeed with it.

We hope you have enjoyed doing the daily puzzles. We hope also that we have given you some appreciation of how mathematical discoveries come about.

Mathematics arises from curiosity, intuition and collaboration and we have seen over the last week how recreational mathematics has given rise to really fruitful branches of maths. A lot of our modern world is built on such mathematics.

Hopefully too your brain has had a good workout. Doing puzzles improves memory, concentration, critical thinking and overall cognitive function. Visit the Maths Week website for more information and puzzles.

Have you time for a few parting puzzles?

  • If a clock takes five seconds to strike 6 o’clock, how long will it take to strike 12 o’clock assuming the same rate?
  • The hands on a clock are exactly aligned at 12 noon and again at 12 midnight. How many times in between these times will the hands be exactly aligned?
  • If it takes a person an hour and forty minutes to sweep the leaves from 100m of road, how long would it take two people to sweep 150m?
  • How many palindromic numbers, for example 02:20 and 12:21, are shown on the 24 hour-clock between 00:00 and 00:00 the next day?
  • A bath takes 6 minutes to fill with the cold tap. It will take 12 minutes using just the hot tap. How long would it take to fill with both taps running? 

Saturday’s puzzle: The answer 


Magic Squares answer 1 (1) Eoin Gill Eoin Gill

2.  It is not possible to arrange 1,2,3,4 into a 2 by 2 magic square. Hopefully you did not spend too long trying!


Screenshot 2023-10-22 18.05.05 Eoin Gill Eoin Gill


Magic Squares answer 4 Eoin Gill Eoin Gill


Magic Squares answer 5 Eoin Gill Eoin Gill

Come back tomorrow at 7.30pm for the answers to today’s puzzle. 

Compiled for The Journal readers by Eoin Gill and Prof Colm Mulcahy of Maths Week Ireland/South-East Technological University (SETU). Maths Week is sponsored by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme and the Department of Education, and is organised by Calmast at SETU.

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