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Grandpa:
"My grandson is about as many days as my son is weeks, and my grandson is as many months as I am in years. My grandson, my son and I together are 140 years. Can you tell me my age in years?" Answer: 84
**Solution:**
Grandpa:
"This problem is conveniently solved by writing down the necessary equations. Note that there are 12 months in a year, 52 weeks in a year, and 365 days in a year.
Let *m* be my age in years. If *s* is my son's age in years, then my son is 52*s* weeks old. If *g* is my grandson's age in years, then my grandson is 365*g* days old. Thus,
365*g* = 52*s*.
Since my grandson is 12*g* months old,
12*g* = *m*.
Since my grandson, my son and I together are 140 years,
*g* + *s* + *m* = 140.
The above system of 3 equations in 3 unknowns (*g*, *s* and *m*) can be solved as follows.
*m* / 12 + 365 *m* / (52 × 12) + *m* = 140 or
52 *m* + 365 *m* + 624 *m* = 624 × 140 or
*m* = 624 × 140 / 1041 = 84.
So, I am 84 years old."
**Food for thought:**
Why is the word "about" used in the Problem Statement in the sentence "My grandson is about as many days as my son is weeks"? Calculate the son's age and the grandson's age. Then, verify whether the first equation (i.e., 365*g* = 52*s*) is exactly satisfied.
An elegant solution is possible on realizing the significance of the word "about" in the Problem Statement.
**Elegant Solution:**
The first equation (365*g* = 52*s*) can be approximated by
7*g* = *s*.
As before, the other two equations are
12*g* = *m*
*g* + *s* + *m* = 140.
The above system of 3 equations in 3 unknowns (*g*, *s* and *m*) can be simply solved as follows.
*g* + 7*g* + 12*g* = 140 or 20*g* = 140.
*m* = 12*g* = 12 × 140 / 20 = 84.
So, Grandpa is 84 years old.
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