I recently got back in touch with an old friend and puzzler and he reminded me of a puzzle that he once told me about that confounded me for weeks. Faced with a restatement of it, again I couldn’t come up with an answer for the life of me. The mechanism is painfully simple, but there is something about the particulars here that short my mind out.
Combine the four number 1,3,4,and 6 with operators of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division (and parenthesis to indicate order of operation) to yield an expression equal to 24.
I assure you that you can take this in the most straight-forward manner possible. You aren’t mean to smoosh them together to get “13” out of 1 and 3. You aren’t meant to use “1” as a problem number or something of that sort. An answer will look something like this:
except that is equal to 1.5 . Your expression must equal 24.
I’m interested to hear if this is as difficult for others as it was for me.