Mother's Day Quiz

Life is a puzzle and we - moms - are experts at solving it with logic, humor, and numbers. This quiz by The Math Mom is celebrating moms who are wise, glamorous, efficient, and funny. Motherhood experience is required to answer. The Quiz was originally posted on boston.com

Puzzle #1: Handbag Mania


Mothers, daughters, grandmothers - we all have our passions. One mother could not go to the store without buying a handbag. Leather, plastic, cloth - she loved them all. When asked after a recent shopping expedition "How many did you buy?" she answered: "Three quarters of their number plus three quarters of a bag." How many did she purchase?
Choices: 
  • 30 
  • 13 
  • None
Think a bit, then scroll down to see the answer.









Correct answer is 3. 
Three quarters of their number plus three quarters of a bag is:  3/4 times 3 + 3/4 = 3



Puzzle #2: Mom vs Dad Race.


Mom and Dad are running on a high school track, but in opposite directions. They notice that their meeting point keeps shifting by three steps in the direction Mom is running. Who is a faster runner?

Choices: 
  • Mom
  • Dad
Image by Ed Yourdon, distributed under CCL.











Correct answer: Mom, she does the whole track distance plus three steps while dad is running the track distance minus three steps in between their meeting times around the track.



Puzzle #3: Speedy Breakfast



You are making grilled cheese sandwiches on a pan that is just wide enough for two slices of bread. It takes 1 minute to grill one side of each sandwich. Can you make three of those sandwiches in just 3 minutes and send your kids out of the door just in time for the school bus?


Choices: 
  • Sure you can; 
  • No, you need at least 4 minutes. Gotta drive the kids yourself.









Correct answer: Sure you can. This is tricky. Name the sandwiches A, B, and C. 
Minute 1: Grill one side of sandwiches A and B. 
Minute 2: Grill the second side of sandwich A and the first side of sandwich C. Sandwich A is ready. 
Minute 3: Grill the second sides of sandwiches B and C. All three sandwiches are ready.





Puzzle #4: Cookies Heaven


Twelve mothers from a kids' activity class decide to get acquainted through a baking party. They agree that each will bring homemade or store-bought cookies to share and each will try one cookie from everyone else. While tasting each other's cookies, each pair will have a little chat getting to know each other. How many cookies are consumed altogether at this party?

Choices: 
  • 12
  • 63
  • 132
  • 144









Correct answer: 132. 
Each of the 12 moms tried 11 cookies that the other moms brought: 12 x 11 = 132



Puzzle #5: Eggs for Breakfast


To make breakfast for yourself, you bring a big pot of water to a boil and then boil one egg for 4 minutes. How long would it take you to boil five eggs to feed your whole family?

Choices: 
  • 4 minutes 
  • 8 minutes 
  • 20 minutes








Correct answer: 4 minutes. 
The boiling time is the same if you put all the eggs in the pot at the same time.




Puzzle #6: Sport for Moms


You are a soccer mom, a swim mom, a lacrosse mom, a runner's wife, a Shape Magazine subscriber, and have a family gym membership. Does this guarantee that you can look your family physician in the eye and say that you get enough exercise?

Choices: 
  • Sure: Soccer, swimming, lacrosse, running, gym - you are obviously well aware of the importance of physical activity!
  • Absolutely not: Just because you make time for others to play sports doesn't mean you have time to do it yourself!









Correct answer is: Absolutely not!



Puzzle #7: Your Good Night Sleep


What are your chances of a good night sleep if there is 30 percent probability that your baby will cry in the middle of the night, a 20 percent probability that your son will have nightmares and come into your room, and a 10 percent chance that your husband will be snoring after the giant steak he consumed at dinner?

Choices: 
  • Zero
  • 50 percent
  • 70 percent
Image by Micah Taylor, distributed under CCL.











Correct answer: 50 percent. For you to have a good night sleep none of these events should occur. No crying AND no nightmares AND no snoring = 0.7 times 0.8 times 0.9 = 0.504 or about 50 percent.



Puzzle #8: A Working Holiday


This may have happened to you. Take Veterans Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day - or any other holiday observed by your child's day care but not observed by some private companies. If both you and your spouse work and you have not lined up a babysitter, you are facing a puzzling day. Assuming you have flexible hours, can you arrange the day so that you and your spouse will each work an 8-hour day and split childcare?


Choices: 
  • Yes
  • No








Correct answer: Yes. All three go to sleep at the same time. Mom and Dad wake up after 8 hours of sleep. There are 16 hours are left in the day. Mom watches the child for 8 hours while Dad works for 8 hours. Then, dad watches the child for the remaining 8 hours while Mom works for 8 hours.




Puzzle #9: A Rotten Egg


You buy a dozen eggs. After a few days, you notice that just a few are left and you buy a dozen more. You fill up all the empty egg spots in your refrigerator, then refill and buy more as necessary. But if you don't keep track properly, some will get rotten before you eat them. Which practice will leave you with some rotten eggs?


Choices: 
  • Pick eggs for use from the right side of the refrigerator, shift eggs to empty spots to the right, refill egg on the left.
  • Leave eggs in the cartoon. When you buy a new cartoon, put it under the old one.
  • Mark eggs with numbers using a pencil.
  • Just pick eggs randomly, refill empty spots when you buy new eggs.







Correct answer: Random picking. If you pick eggs randomly and refill empty spots with new eggs, there may be a stinking rotten egg that never got picked.





Puzzle #10: I'm a mother, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint. 


Remember the song by Alanis Morissette? You are a professional woman (20 percent of the time), a mother (20 percent of the time), a wife (10 percent of the time), a daughter (5 percent of the time), a sleeping angel (25 percent of the time), a good friend (3 percent of the time), a line cook (4 percent of the time), a house maid (5 percent of the time), a self-indulging queen (3 percent of the time), a neurotic guilt-ridden mess (2 percent of the time), and a driver (3 percent of the time). Is this all possible?

Choices: 
  • Yes
  • No



Correct answer: Yes. Of course the answer is yes! We all do it, somehow.

Happy Mother's Day!

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