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Math for Kids/Logic Puzzle


Letter Relations
Letter Relations  
QUESTION: Hello my friend. I suffer terribly from Ritalin induced eye pain but here is my question:

Can you help me, step by step, on how to solve this logic problem. Please see attached image.

ANSWER: Hello, Peter.

Admittedly, I was stumped. I had to ask another person. E/R = D/S = N/U = L/W.

Why L? The answer lies in realizing that the letters represent directions. N, S, W, and E stand for North, South, West, and East. North is "up"; South is "down"; West is "left"; and East is "right." (At least on a map or typical compass this is the case.)

I'm not a fan of this sort of thing because, without numbers, there's no reason to necessarily believe that L/W = E/R. It's an arbitrary assignment based on directions. It'd be better if the problem listed a string of letters, with the last one unknown. Making this into a "math" problem only confuses the issue.

There aren't really any steps in solving this. You just need to think it out.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I suddenly noticed another pattern. If you look at

E/R = D/S = N/U = L/W,

you in ill notice that it is the order of the alphabet, going from left to right, starting from R then S in the denominator.
It then skips out T and V.

In the divisor, the alphabet goes from right to left, D, E and then L, N, skipping out M.

Hello, Peter.

That is true, but it's just another ad hoc "solution" to this "math" problem. Actually, it's probably worse than the direction answer: E goes back one to give you the next numerator, D, but N goes backward (skipping one letter) to give you L. For the denominators, R goes forward one to give you S, but U then skips a letter to give you W.

There's no pattern to this solution. N skipping backwards to L doesn't seem to fit.


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John Zalewski


I can help you solve problems involving fractions, decimals, ratios, and algebra. I can teach you how to do math faster, and even in your head. I can teach math definitions, and help you study, if necessary. Please do not ask any graphing, trigonometry, or calculus questions. Try to work through homework questions before asking for assistance.


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