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The problem, which tests logical reasoning, has been shared thousands of times online as people have tried to pose their best explanations of what at first appears to be an impossible question. A maths question set for year-olds has left people across the world baffled as they try to solve the puzzle. The Olympiad often features logical reasoning questions and are set to test top achievers.

Should have taken the hint when Cheryl decided to play this little game. I wish I were as clever to answer something like this. Albert and Bernard just became friends with Cheryl, and they want to know when her birthday is.


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Cheryl gives them a list of 10 possible dates. June 17, June July 14, July August 14, August 15, August Cheryl then tells Albert and Bernard separately the month and the day of her birthday respectively. At first the question appears impossible to answer without a bit of extra information, but we know Cheryl has already told Albert the month of her birthday, and Bernard the day.

Each of the men does not know what the other has been told. This allows reasoning to be used to begin to whittle down the number of options. So, firstly, for Albert to be 'certain' that Bernard cannot know the answer - as suggested in the first statement he makes - we can deduct that the birthday is not in May or June. This is because in the months of May and June there are numbers dates that only occur once across the four months - namely May 19 and June If Albert had been given May or June as the month, there is no way he could be certain that Bernard doesn't know the birthday.

Bernard, after all, might have been the number 18 or For Albert to be 'certain' that Bernard doesn't know, Albert must have been given a month that does not contain one of these 'unique' dates - i. July or August. Albert's disclosure now gives Bernard the clue he needs, and says he now knows the birthday.

This is because he realises Albert has ruled out May and June because of the 'single number' aspect above. So there are now just five remaining dates - July 14, July 16, Aug 14, Aug 15, Aug 17 - and Bernard says he knows which is the birthday. Because he now knows the date, we can whittle it down further to three dates by ruling out the numbers that appear in duplicate. At first, the question appears impossible top answer without more information, but here's how to work it out. If Cheryl had told Bernard that her birthday fell on the 14th of the month, then he could not have worked out the date at this stage.

However, as he states that he now knows the date, we can rule out July 14 or August This leaves just three dates to chose from - July 16, Aug 15 and Aug Following Bernard's statement, Albert is then apparently able to deduce the date of Cheryl's birthday.


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This means her birthday must be the only remaining date in the month he was originally told. Given that there are two dates left in August and one in July, it has to be the July date. This year around 28, students from countries across the world including Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China and the UK took the test. Of course, perhaps the more important question is whether Cheryl deserves a birthday gift at all after putting us through all of this.

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Share this article Share. I start my day by drinking twenty-four ounces of water in the first fifteen minutes after I wake up. Next up is my version of a Bulletproof coffee.

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No, these are not ads—I just love them so much! I add boiling hot water and combine them all in a blender for a delicious frothy coffee that keeps me full and focused for hours. Next, I text my husband to say good morning and wish him a good day. He usually beats me to it. We have done this daily for eight years, and I hope that we will always do it.

I then spend about thirty minutes drinking my coffee and checking my emails and social media work, not personal to gauge my to-do list for the day.

I address anything urgent before moving on to my morning workout. Before I leave in the morning I make my bed, throw pillows and all. Lastly, I try not to schedule meetings until after am. This gives me the morning to accomplish my routine, some office work, and my workout before running around town. During the week, I wake up some time between and am, and as late as possible on weekends. This little joke on myself always keeps me happy. I get up between am and make a pot of pour-over coffee. While the coffee is brewing I drink twenty ounces of water with lemon squeezed into it and do a stretching routine, which mostly consists of yoga poses; typically downward dog to sphinx, to warrior one, with some Bikhram, half moon, and standing on one leg.

Five or six times a week I exercise—a mixture of weights, yoga, running, and biking. I used to run a lot more, but now I think I enjoy the higher intensity weights stuff more. I wake up and put on running shorts and a T-shirt. Then I head to the kitchen for a glass of water. I have breakfast—which is almost always oatmeal, plain yogurt, and nuts—with my wife and sons. Next, I exercise. On many days, I walk with my thirteen-year-old son to his school which is about two miles away and then run home. On other days, I go for a run in the park. Nothing heroic, just minutes.

The maths problem set for Singapore teenagers that has left people across the world stumped

Sometimes I do something else, and when I need a rest day, I take it. One of the big keys for me is getting dressed in running clothes right when I wake up, because it sets the default to exercise—my family expects it, and I expect it too. This is an idea I got from my friend John Zeratsky. Every morning, I choose one big thing to focus on and make time for it rather than reacting to everything in my inbox and on my to-do list.

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While the time I wake up is never consistent, I try to keep my overall morning routine the same. I actually really love my mornings! Mornings are my time for me, and I like to use them to ease into my day. A pretty standard morning for me starts at am. I drink two eight-ounce glasses of water and then make coffee.

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The next part of my routine is inspired by Lewis Carroll and my favorite quote from Alice in Wonderland. I truly believe that the more one believes in the impossible, the sooner the impossible becomes possible. It just takes practice—and practice, of course, makes perfect! This is usually when I watch my favorite guilty pleasure shows like The Bachelor or The Bachelorette.

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I like to keep my morning time very slow and private—kind of like women who choose to have a water birth, so the baby comes out of the watery womb into… more water. Similarly I like to come out of sleep and not immediately be inundated with people and meetings and demands and performances, and instead be in a peaceful place, in bed, awake.

I usually return to my bed at that point and do more work on my laptop. If I have a phone meeting I generally take it from my bed-cocoon-hive. I usually wake up at am, although that can vary based on how late I went to bed the night prior.