Minus' Solution to

The Crook's Challenge
Posted September 29 - October 6, 1997

Using a bit of algebra, let's make the first number X, the second number Y, and the third number (X + Y + 1).

X + Y + X + Y + 1 = 83
2X + 2Y = 82
X + Y = 41

Y is odd, more than 19 and less than 25, so it has to be either 21 or 23.
If Y is 21, then X would be 20. But we know that X is divisible by 6.
If Y is 23, then X would be 18. That fits.

So to crack the safe, Crafty Craig dialed the following numbers: (in order) 18, 23, and 42.

Your Solutions

Using her logic and some simple process of elimination, Elizabeth Moody, a seventh grader at Robert Smalls Middle School in Beaufort, South Carolina, submitted this chewy shark-treat for Minus.

The first thing that you do to figure out the answer is to read the problem carefully and follow the instructions carefully. (Yessiree! That's good advice!)

The next thing you do is list the numbers that are between 1 and 25. The reason you do this because it said that the first number is less than 25. After that you cross out all of the odd numbers because the problem said that the the number is an even number. When you have finished that, you list the even numbers that are divisible by six. Don't forget that the number is less than 25. So now you are left with 4 numbers which are 6, 12, 18, & 24. You can't figure out the first number so you have to go to your next step.

In order to find out your second number, you have to list the odd numbers that are more than 19 and less than 25. That leaves you with 21 & 23. After that you have to do som adding. First you take the 6 and add it to 21 which would equal 27. Then you add 1 to that and you get 28. Now you add 6 because that would be your first number, then add 21 because that would be your second number, then you would add 28 because that would be your third number. Your total now comes out to be 55. That would not be the three numbers for the safe. Then you would have to do the same thing with all of the multiples of 6 and add that to either 21 or 23.

Finally, you come to your answer. First you add 18 + 23 = 41 + 1 = 42. Then  18 + 23 +42 = 83. So your three numbers to the safe would be 18, 23, & 42.

An equally thorough solution was cooked-up by Megan Thibault of Robert Smalls. Megan also included a very creative dinner-time story for Minus. BTW: Yes, Megan, it would be prudent to stay out of trouble and go to college. That's how Minus landed this wild and funky job.
I have broken into this store, and have found an interesting note, which states the clues to which numbers will open the safe.

If the first number is even, less than twenty five, and divisible by six, the first number could either be zero, six, twelve, eighteen, or twenty-four. If the second number is odd, more than nineteen, and less than twenty -five, the second number could only be twenty -one or twenty-three. The third number is the sum of the first two numbers plus one. The sum of all three numbers combined would equal eighty-three. If the first numbers are eighteen and twenty-three, then the equation for finding the third number would be (18 + 23) +1 = the third number. The solution would be forty-two.

To check it, I add all three numbers up, and if they equal eighty-three I can open that Safe! (18 + 23) + 42 = 83 !!!!!!!

Actually I think that I will only be "Crafty Craig" in college. That's right breaking the law is isn't any fun. After all if I figured out that math problem, I can do almost any thing!!

Guessing and checking isn't always the best method to solving a problem, but in this case it works. So kudos go out to Amy Morrison, Tracy Wu, Diane Bailey, & Nicolas Bradley for their combined effort.
We used guess & check method to come up with these numbers:  18, 23, 42.

Scott Cush, of Calgary, Alberta, steamed up this little side-dish to accompany Minus' hearty meal.
The crook should choose these three numbers:

Heather, from who-knows-where, teased Minus with this tid-bit. Hey, where's the rest of it, Heather?
The crook should choose these three numbers:
The answer is 18 + 23 + 42 = 83.

Minus thanks everyone for caring.
With killer whales on the attack,
Minus is busy watching his back.