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Reverse Ages

Age 11 to 14 Short
Challenge Level

Answer: Brian will be 25

Working it out by thinking about the numbers


If Brian's age begins with 1, his father's age should end with 1

Brian's father's age won't end with 1 until Brian is more than 20

If Brian's age begins with 2, his father's age should end with 2

Adding the same number of years to each age

So their ages will be each other's reverses in 11, 22, 33... years time.

Next time is in 11 years, 14 + 11 = 25

Using algebra to find numbers that are each other's reverses and are the correct distance apart
Brian's age written $ab$, Brian's age is $10a+b$
Father's age written $ba$, Father's age is $10b+a$.

$41-14 = 27$ so Brian's father is $27$ years older than Brian.

         $a$              $b$     Brian's age Father's age
1 4 14 41
2 5 25 52
3 6 36 63

You can find more short problems, arranged by curriculum topic, in our short problems collection.