Get those neurons out the blocks
Today, two puzzles inspired by the Olympics:
1) The 100m final
Early this morning Usain Bolt won gold in the 100m.
Lets assume that Bolt won the race by 10m from the second placed runner, Justin Gatlin. And now lets run the final again, but this time Bolt will start 10m behind the start line. If both Bolt and Gatlin run at the same constant speed in the second race as they did in the first, who wins?
2) The mystery games
(For the purposes of this puzzle, any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, and Olympic sports, actual or obsolete, is purely coincidental.)
Nafissatou, Jessica, and Brianne are taking part in an athletics competition that involves at least two events. In each event the winner gets G points, second placed gets S points and third place gets B points, where G, S and B are whole numbers, nonzero, and G> S>B. No event is tied. Nafissatou scores 22 points in total. Jessica and Brianne score 9 points each in total. Jessica wins the 100m hurdles. Who is second in the javelin? How many events are there?
Ill open comments at noon, and post the answers at 5pm BST. Please dont post the answer in the comments before 5pm because this spoils it for the many people who want to work out the answers themselves. Thanks!
I post a puzzle here on a Monday every two weeks. If you want to propose a puzzle for this column, please email me Id love to hear it.
Im the author of three popular maths books including Alexs Adventures in Numberland. My new book Football School: Where Football Explains the World is for children and out on Sept 1. You can check me out on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, my personal website or my Guardian maths blog.