Brainteasers – Issue 4, 2005

1. “Rebates on PLCs”

A company that sells overpriced PLCs and needlessly expensive AC Drives decides to offer their customers a rebate. They offer \$250 to each PLC customer, and \$400 to each customer who bought an AC Drive. Unfortunately, the company has lost track of the number of customers who have purchased each product, but they do know that a total of 5,392 customers are eligible for one rebate or the other (no customers qualify for both rebates). After the rebate period ends the company realizes that only 1/5 of their PLC customers and only 1/8 of the AC Drive customers have applied for the rebates. Can you determine the total amount of all the rebates to be paid by the company?

2. “Husband and Wife”

A husband and wife have a combined age of 91. The husband is now twice as old as his wife was when he was as old as she is now. What are their ages?

3. “The Queen Attacks”

Place eight queens on a chessboard in such a way that none of the queens is attacking another queen. (Schuh)

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Customer Service With A Smile

An award should go to the United Airlines gate agent in Denver for being smart and funny, and making her point, when confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo.

During the final days at Denver’s old Stapleton airport, a crowded United flight was canceled. A single agent was rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and said, “I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS.”
The agent replied, “I’m sorry, sir. I’ll be happy to try to help you, but I’ve got to help these folks first, and I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out.”

The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, “Do you have any idea who I am?”

Without hesitating, the gate agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone. “May I have your attention, please?” she began, her voice bellowing throughout the terminal. “We have a passenger here at the gate WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to the gate.”

The man retreated as the people in the terminal applauded loudly. Although the flight was canceled and people were late, they were no longer angry at United.