Smith's age

Smith's age

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Smith works in an insurance agency and spends so much time thinking about numbers, data and death tables, that he doesn't know how to talk about anything else. When he has to solve a statistical problem, he runs home to explain it to his wife, who always says he has no idea of ​​mathematics, to illustrate it in the art of numbers.

Not long ago, she explained a problem that will make him think twice before going home with mathematical gossip. It happened that he came home and, after explaining one of his statistical puzzles, which by the way, did not find the enthusiastic reception he expected, bragged that if his better half managed to expose a problem about dates or ages he could not solve In 10 minutes, he promised not to explain any riddle until the first anniversary of that day was fulfilled. Surely he was referring to the following year, but since this happened on February 29, 1896, he had no choice but to fulfill his promise literally.

The problem proposed by his wife was:

"Let's see, Tom, if you were three times my age when we first met, and now I am exactly the age you were then, and when I am three times my current age the sum of our years will be 100 years exact, "Can you tell me how old you will be next February 29?

It was a spontaneous riddle but very good, and it's not as easy as it seems.


When Smith and his wife met he was 3 times her age but on that day of leap year 1896 she was the same age he was when they first met.

Mathematicians and other sages in astrology and occult sciences have shown that Tom was 15 years old and his beloved 5 when they met so that on February 29, 1896 she was 15 years old and he was 25. So when she is 45 he will be 55 years old. which will make their combined ages add a century.

Some of our scientists who thought that Tom was 25 years old on February 29, 1896 made the mistake (like Tom himself) of believing that 1900, for which 4 years were missing, it was the next leap year that would make Tom was 29 years old then (and could raise problems with his wife again). However, for a strange trick of the 1900 calendar it was not a leap year. The following leap year did not occur until 1904 on which occasionTom would be 33 years old.