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A department manager distributed a number of pens, pencils, [#permalink]
29 Jan 2006, 08:51

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A department manager distributed a number of pens, pencils, and pads among the staff in the department, with each staff member receiving x pens, y pencils, and z pads. How many staff members were in the department ?

(1) The numbers of pens, pencils, and pads that each staff member received were in the ratio 2 : 3 : 4, respectively.

(2) The manager distributed a total of 18 pens, 27 pencils, and 36 pads.

(1) is irrelevant in telling us how many staff members are in the department. (1) is insufficient.

(2) is irrelevant as we do not know how these pens, pencils and pads were distributed. Is it distributed evenly, or do managers get more than staff members... (2) is insufficient.

Using (1) and (2), we know each staff member receive the items in the ration pen:pencil:pad 2:3:4. We're also told a total of 18 pens, 27 pencils and 36 pads were given out. However, we still can't tell how many staff members there are.

Say there are 9 staff members, and each would receive 2 pens, 3 pencils and 4 pads, this would still add up to 18 pens, 27 pencils and 36 pads.

Similarly, if there are 3 staff members and each received 6 pens, 9 pencils and 12 pads, then this would still add up to 18 pens, 27 pencils and 36 pads and also the ratio would stay 2:3:4.

I couldn’t help myself but stay impressed. young leader who can now basically speak Chinese and handle things alone (I’m Korean Canadian by the way, so...