(U3A Members can obtain the solution by downloading the attachment below)
Census man: “Good morning sir , I've come to check the details on your census form, It appears you have three children, but you have neglected to give their ages.”
Householder:- “An oversight on my part sir, but since you are clearly a mathematician, I will tell you that the product of their ages is 36, and the sum of their ages is the same as the number on the gatepost there. You will then have all the information that you require.”
“Sadly no!” said the Census man after only a brief pause for thought. “That is not sufficient information.” (His mind was razor-sharp, a mathematician of the first order, and he could recognise a smart-Alec when he met one.)
“Oh silly me” said the householder. “Of course you are right; I should have mentioned, that is my eldest you can hear playing the piano.”
The census man thanked the householder and correctly filled in his form.
Can you too, work out the ages of the children and the number on the gatepost?