Question 143

Sam has forgotten his friend’s seven-digit telephone number. He remembers the following: the first three digits are either 635 or 674, the number is odd, and the number nine appears once. If Sam were to use a trial and error process to reach his friend, what is the minimum number of trials he has to make before he can be certain to succeed?

Solution

Consider cases : 1) Last digit is 9: No. of ways in which the first 3 digits can be guessed is 2. No. of ways in which next 3 digits can be guessed is 9*9*9. So in total the number of ways of guessing = 2*9*9*9 = 1458.

2) Last digit is not 9: the number 9 can occupy any of the given position 4, 5, or 6, and there shall be an odd number at position 7.

So in total, the number of guesses = 2*3*(9*9*4) = 1944+1458 = 3402

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