9 thoughts on “Writer’s Block – 2

  1. O boy…I will come back to this when it’s not so late (lol) My brain is too tired for this rt now, but this is engaging & fun – thx for sharing! When u went thru these how many did u get right?

    • Dushyant, the whole idea is to think about it a little, visualise the situation, understand how it behaves. I am advocating this approach precisely because such problems would be all the more difficult with equations.

      In the first problem, for example, start by taking a few values for the ages and see how the system behaves. For example imagine that if A and B are today 30 and 25, what will be B’s age when A is B’s current age (i.e. 25)? He will be 20, right? And simlarly if today A and B are 28 and 22, then when A was 22, B would have been 16. But 25 is the average of 20 and 30, and similarly 22 is the average of 16 and 28. In this manner we can realise that a statement like “when I was as old as you are now” means that if the current ages are x+a and x, then the older ages were x and x-a. If you can’t visualise this, then you can’t solve it orally – but if you can, then it is easier to do orally than with equations. I cannot make you visualise it 🙂 I can only ask you to try!

      Do the same for the second question, take two salaries in the ratio 3 : 4 and subtract values in a ratio more than 3 : 4 from both numerator and denominator. See what happens, check the new ratio – convince yourself that it will always be less than 3 : 4. Then take the trouble to understand why (read up on componendo, dividendo and similar concepts)

      To apply the methods I will be talking about in the next few posts, your conceptual clarity has to be superb. If your understanding is ironclad, then you can do seemingly miraculous stuff without writing a thing….else you will be condemned to stare at equations.


      • I totally understood the concept (I can imagine now how I am getting older 😛 ).

        Thanks for writing such great posts. 🙂

  2. Hello Sir,

    Thanks for the awesome posts. 🙂

    I have a query in the last sum. Suppose, the options were not given, is it possible to determine the actual answer with the given information?

      • You mean the Ram and Shyam question right? Well, the official answer given did actually calculate it from the given information. It was a good 6-8 minute solution though, so it would be a well-left problem without options.


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