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Brain Teaser: Party For Polyglots & Introducing Wes Carroll, Puzzle Master

We are delighted to intro­duce you to Wes Car­roll who has gra­ciously cre­ated a few new puz­zles to bend all those sharp brains out there! Wes Carroll

Wes is the head of Do The Math pri­vate tutor­ing ser­vices, Puz­zle Mas­ter for the Ask A Sci­en­tist lec­ture series, and an inter­na­tion­ally tour­ing per­former and teacher of music. With no fur­ther ado, the first puzzle!

Party For Polyglots

Dif­fi­culty: MEDIUM
Type: LOGIC

QUESTION:
Of the 100 peo­ple at a recent party, 90 spoke Span­ish, 80 spoke Ital­ian, and 75 spoke Man­darin. At least how many spoke all three languages?

Have you solved it yet? If you are work­ing the prob­lem, mak­ing hypothe­ses, test­ing your ideas, and com­ing up with a solu­tion, you are using your frontal lobes. This is great exer­cise because the frontal lobes fol­low the “last hired, first fired” adage. They are they last areas of your brain to develop and the first to suf­fer the rav­ages of time and stress. So, keep exer­cis­ing! Just like your vol­un­tary mus­cles, reg­u­lar brain work­outs will help you keep more active neu­ronal cir­cuits in your brain which helps you func­tion bet­ter today, as well as cre­ate a pro­tec­tive bar­rier against aging.

ANSWER:
45

EXPLANATION:
10 could not speak Span­ish, 20 could not speak Ital­ian, and 25 could not speak Man­darin. So there could have been 10 peo­ple who spoke none of those languages.

How­ever, that would max­i­mize the num­ber of peo­ple who could speak all three, and the prob­lem asks at least how many speak all three. There­fore, we must assume that these 10, 20, and 25 peo­ple are all sep­a­rate peo­ple. Hav­ing iden­ti­fied 55 each of whom is miss­ing one lan­guage, the remain­ing 45 speak all three.

 

PS: Enjoy these 50 brain teasers to test your cog­ni­tive abil­ity. Free, and fun for adults of any age!

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