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Question 52 in our cryptic quiz: “Three is the magic number”

24th September 2009 by Pete

It’s time to get your brain in gear and answer today’s first question. What’s in it for me I hear you say?

Well; Today you have another chance to win one of the coolest little gadgets around. We are giving away more Mix Tape USBs from our friends at Suck UK. You can store your MP3s on the USB and be retro and master of all things digital all at the same time!

If you want to see the Mix Tape in action, take a look.

But you have to earn them! So, let the games begin……

Hardboiled, The Journey


Nick drew Sam’s short straw, so once we were on the boat it was his turn to face a puzzle challenge.

Sam said, “At this very moment a woman is 21 years older than her child. In exactly 6 years from now she will be precisely 5 times older than the child.” 

I could see the wheels turning in Nick’s mind.

“The question is this,” Sam said, “where is the father right now?”

Nick paused a second, surprised. But suddenly he relaxed and said, “he’s right next to the mother, I suspect.”

QUESTION: How old is the child right now?

Answer below in your comments please, and keep coming back, as the next question will be up soon.

Comments (40)

  1. Jenny:

    The child has just been conceived. :) -.75 years old.

  2. David:

    The child is 5.4 years old right now.

  3. Maura:

    The child is currently being conceived: -9 months old.

  4. Aaron McFann:

    The child is 1. The mother is 29. In six years the child will be 7 and the mother will be 35. 35/7 = 5.

  5. Aaron McFann:

    Nevermind, I completely skipped over the mother being 21 years older than the child. The correct answer is:
    The child has just been born (if the child was carried for 9 months).

  6. Midknyt:

    The baby is -0.75, minus 9 months…or in other words, being conceived as we speak.

    Tsk tsk.

  7. AG:

    Hehe. The child is -9 months old…

  8. pauline:

    child is 3

  9. Chi:

    The child is currently 6.75 years old (and the mom is 27.75 years old).

    Proof: Let c=child’s age, m=mom’s age
    1. m = 21 + c (mom is 21 year’s older than child)
    => 27.75 = 21 + 6.75
    => 27.75 = 27.75 is true

    2. m + 6 = 5 * c (mom will be 5 times as old as child’s current age in 6 years)
    => 27.75 + 6 = 5 * 6.75
    => 33.75 = 33.75 is true

  10. Nina:

    -9 months…

  11. Clare:

    I imagine the child is just conceived.

  12. Irit:

    The child is minus nine months old.

  13. Joe Tortuga:

    The child has just been conceived!

  14. Caro:

    Minus nine months, or in other words, just conceived!

    Honestly MOO, your minds are in the gutter! ;)

  15. Isabelle:

    He has just been conceived (he’s still in his mother belly with nearly one year to go before being born). No wonder why dad is near ;)

  16. Amanda:

    The child is -3/4 years old… or, it is 9 months before the child is born. Thus why the father is right next to the mother right now :)

  17. Andrew Sosnkowski:

    the child is being conceived

  18. Michael:

    It´s nine month before it´s birth. That´s why the father should be right beside the mother ;-)

  19. Cherry:

    The child has not yet been born.

  20. frankie:

    9 months old!

  21. Jessica:

    three months away from birth

  22. Shereen:

    The baby was conceived a month ago…I think.

  23. Diana Ramirez:

    The child was just conceived, so s/he is -9 months old (or -.75 years old).

  24. Jenn:

    woman = Y
    child = X

    woman is 21 years older: Y = X+21
    in 6 years: Y+6 = 5(X+6)

    Y+6 = 5X+30
    Y = 5X+24

    5X+24 = X+21
    -4X = 3
    X = -3/4

    the child is -3/4 years old. 3/4 of a year is 9 months, so the child is -9 months old… (s)he’s being conceived!

  25. jgardy:

    Oooh no scratch my last answer. The kid was just concieved.

  26. Laurel Fan:

    The child is -.75 years, so it will be born in about 9 months.

  27. spyra:

    How risque! ;)

    The child is 9 months before birth (-3/4 of a year), which means that they are doing it right now!

  28. istoo:

    Six and three quarters.

  29. Gareth Whitehead:

    6 years and 9 months old.

  30. Sophie:

    The child is minus 3/4 of a year, which is near enough to conception as to make Sam’s answer feasible!

  31. Anna:

    The child is currently -0.75, or minus 9 months, or currently being conceived :-)

  32. Rebekah:

    The child is being born.

  33. katie:

    The child is -.75 of a year, or -9 months. He’s just been conceived. And that’s why the father is right next to the mother! It all makes sense now!
    LOL good question!

  34. Mike:

    -.75yr, or more conventionally, nine months away from birth or right around the time of conception.

  35. Gabi:

    9 month before birth

  36. Cleopatra Browne:

    The child has just been conceived and is -9 months old.

  37. an0305:

    the child is conceived at this moment! (it’s -.75 years old, so -9 months!)

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