The sales manager was preparing a report, and wished to include the weekly sales of the company’s best selling product, the ‘accumatic’. A colleague walked by his office, and found him perplexed. “What’s wrong”, he asked. “Well”, said the sales manager, “I seem to have lost the piece of paper with the actual number of units sold written on it. All I have is the total number of ‘accumatics’, ‘puralyzers’ and ‘macrolators’ sold scribbled in the corner of my notebook”. “That’s a problem”, said the colleague, “but what’s that other number crossed out just above it”. “Oh’, said the manager”, I added the number up with a calculator, and mistakenly used the multiplication key first time”. “Hmm, 2450, so that’s the product of the sales of all three”, said the colleague, “so you should be able to work out the number of ‘accumatics’ sold”.

His colleague came by a little later and enquired how the manager was doing. “There simply isn’t enough information here”, said the manager. “I realized that”, said the colleague”, but now I remember one of the salesmen complaining that the ‘puralyzer’ sold the least last week”. “Now I have enough information”, said the manager, “thanks a lot”.

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The Sales Manager’s Problem

The sales manager was preparing a report, and wished to include the weekly sales of the company’s best selling product, the ‘accumatic’. A colleague walked by his office, and found him perplexed. “What’s wrong”, he asked. “Well”, said the sales manager, “I seem to have lost the piece of paper with the actual number of units sold written on it. All I have is the total number of ‘accumatics’, ‘puralyzers’ and ‘macrolators’ sold scribbled in the corner of my notebook”. “That’s a problem”, said the colleague, “but what’s that other number crossed out just above it”. “Oh’, said the manager”, I added the number up with a calculator, and mistakenly used the multiplication key first time”. “Hmm, 2450, so that’s the product of the sales of all three”, said the colleague, “so you should be able to work out the number of ‘accumatics’ sold”.

His colleague came by a little later and enquired how the manager was doing. “There simply isn’t enough information here”, said the manager. “I realized that”, said the colleague”, but now I remember one of the salesmen complaining that the ‘puralyzer’ sold the least last week”. “Now I have enough information”, said the manager, “thanks a lot”.

How many ‘accumatics’ were sold?

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