What to do
The singers
Here is one I got from
Mary Tingblad through the
Dead Teachers' Society, and it was Mary who actually inspired me to create this page, when she shared this puzzle with us. Sadly, the rest of this page got shunted to one side until I was redesigning the site in August 2000.
Allen, Bruce, Claire, Donna, and Emma were the top five finishers in their school's talent contest. They finished up filling, in no particular order, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th places. Oddly enough, the children came from, in no particular order, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades! In another startling coincidence, they all performed to the song "My Way" but they all did something different to the music. They either sang, tapdanced, hummed, yodelled, or whistled.
 None of the numbers in the order of finish were exactly the same as the grade numbers.
 Claire finished in front of Allen but behind the singer, and Donna, and the tapdancer too, but those last three people are not necessarily in any particular order.
 Emma finished behind Bruce but ahead of Donna.
 The singer was in 3rd grade and the tap dancer was in 1st grade.
 The child that was the hummer deserved to finish in last place and did finish there.
 The yodeller was in 4th grade.
Based on the clues, match names with order of finish, grades, and performances.
Your task: to try and work out who came where.
This will help you understand
The students' sum
Ivan Sayerspassed this one on to the ABC ScienceMatters List  he tells me it came from a mathematical journal published in Tasmania called DELTA. It may be as old as the hills, but here it is:
Simone and Peter were good maths students, but one afternoon they behaved badly. I told them to come to my classroom at the end of the afternoon. I thought up two numbers between 2 and 200 and when Peter came in I told him the product, (the result of multiplying them). I then told him to sit down and not to mention any number.
I caught Simone outside the door and told her the sum, (the result of adding them). I then told them what I had done and repeated the instruction not to mention a number. (They must not even use the words 'odd' or 'even', because these implicitly refer to the number two !)
I said that each could go home as soon as he/she passed me a piece of paper with the original numbers written on it. A failed trial meant an additional halfhour in class. After a short chat they lapsed into silence.
At about the ten minute mark Peter burst out 'But there's no way I can tell what they are !' Simone grinned 'I could have told you that !', she said. Peter said 'You could?' Simone:'Yup!' Peter thought for a while and passed me a piece of paper. I said he could go.
As Peter sauntered out, Simone's jaw hit the floor. 'He gottem ?', she asked. I nodded. A couple of minutes later Simone grinned again, passed me a piece of paper with the correct numbers written on it, and walked out.
What were the correct numbers ?
By the way, when I put this up on the Web, I was still working on the answer.
This will help you
The coded sum
ABCB
ADEF +

GFFF
AHJA 

AGKD
D x

FKFD
J ÷

GKCG
This will help you
