Posts Tagged ‘combinations’

Meeting at the Mall

Thursday, April 25th, 2019

Sally Jones arrived at the Mega Market Mall and slid her white Ford Fiesta in among eight other cars in a parking section that could accommodate nine.

Sally received a call from Molly while parking.

“I’m at a restaurant right now lunching with Jane, Sally, but we’ll soon be off to the Mega Market Mall in separate cars,” said Molly excitedly. “There’s a big sale on shoes. How can we meet up?”

“Just park your cars on both sides of my white Ford Fiesta. I’ll be able to see you between the trees from the window of the art exhibition hall, and I’ll come get you.”

“But if the slots next to your car are occupied, how can we meet?”

“There is lots of traffic in and out of the mall. Should be no problem.”

Molly didn’t seem convinced.

If there were five cars including Sally’s in the parking section, what would be the probability that Molly and Jane could park alongside Sally’s car?

The Wine Tavern

Monday, December 24th, 2018

One Saturday evening in late winter, Jason, Melanie and Bob were sitting around a cozy table at the newly opened Bacchus Wine Tavern, that was promoting a novel wine pouring system consisting of five different types of wine and a random wine selector.

“Considering this new wine pouring system, what do you guys figure is the probability that we two get an identical wine in each of our glasses and Melanie gets one with a different wine type?” said Jason with an impish, quizzical grin.

“Good question,” replied Bob, “let’s see how it goes after we’ve gone through some rounds,” he suggested with eager anticipation.

“By that time, I don’t think any of us will be able to figure it out,” laughed Melanie, and hailed a waiter to bring the first set of triple glasses.

What would you say is the probability that Melanie, gets a glass of wine that is different and Bob and Jason get the same wine?

About how many rounds do you figure would be needed for Melanie to get her odd glass of wine?

The Round Table

Friday, July 8th, 2016

Jack and Jill were sitting in Banerjee’s Hindu Restaurant at a round table with seven persons, enjoying a delicious chicken tikki masala with spicy papadums and a fine wine, when the owner, a Mr. Banerjee, approached them with a wide smile.

“I am so happy to see such a handsome couple like you eating in my restaurant. To show my appreciation, I will set you a small task. If you can tell me how many different ways there are to arrange the seven people around this table, you of course in the same position, the meals at this table will be on the house. I will give you some time to consult. Please write down your answers on your bills. If correct, there will be no charge.”

What is the number needed for obtaining a free meal?

What would the number be if Jack and Jill were not required to sit together.

At Chez Clouseau’s

Saturday, June 25th, 2016

On a winter’s evening, two couples, Jack and Jill, Willy and Lola, went to the famous French restaurant Chez Clouseau in New York to delight their taste buds with a three star Michelin cuisine.

After entering the plush lobby, they had to check their coats in the wardrobe, which was attended by Molly, a distrait blonde.

“Welcome to Chez Clouseau, y’all. Please check in your coats, y’all” said Molly, gracefully extending her arm, fingers glittering with rings.

The couples obliged and were handed four numbered plastic cards engraved with the Chez Clouseau logo, an inscripton with two crossed red wine bottles on a fleur-de-lis background, upon which they were led at a brisk but elegant pace by the maitre d’ to their table.

After dining at a tastefully set table with dishes crisscrossed in an artistically random fashion with sprayed-on green stripes – just missing some small stacks of colorful tidbits – drinking expensive vintage Bordeaux wine, and then paying the exorbitant bill, the couples returned in a financially decimated and bewildered state to the wardrobe to at least recover their coats.

“Our coats please,” commanded Jack, handing the plastic cards to Molly so she could connect the right owner with the right coat.

“Thank you mister,” beamed Molly with a charming smile. Just then a handsome French waiter passed by with a tray holding several full wine glasses, and Molly’s eyes glued onto and followed the garçon, dropping the plastic cards, which fell helter-skelter in a random fashion on the floor behind the wardrobe counter.

“Oops,” she blushed all flustered, “Really, how could this all have happened, y’all.”

She quickly checked the numbers on the plastic cards and handed Jack and Jill and Herman and Lola the coats corresponding to the numbers on the cards and the coat rack.

As the ordered taxi was beeping loudly outside, the two couples grabbed the coats given to them and raced out the door in a rush to leave. Molly didn’t get a tip.

What is the probability that at least one of the four received their own coat on checking this in the taxi? And the probability that one of the couples both received their own coat? That both couples received their respective own coats?


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