   SEARCH HOME Math Central Quandaries & Queries  Question from Justina, a student: Okay so I don't understand how to equal this equation to 10 using bedmas. I've been stuck on it for a few days now. Is there different ways you can show me Using these same numbers? 5 2 4 3 1 = 10 Help! Thanks. Think about what you get by doing one operation. You can get any of these puzzles:

7 4 3 1 = 10 - that is, (5+2) 4 3 1
3 4 3 1 = 10
10 4 3 1 = 10
2.5 4 3 1 = 10
25 4 3 1 = 10 (exponentiating)
5 6 3 1 = 10
5 8 3 1 = 10
5 -2 3 1 = 10
5 0.5 3 1 = 10
5 16 3 1 = 10

and ten more.

Maybe you can see a solution to some of those simpler puzzles.. For instance, the second one could give 3 + 4 + (3x1) = 10. That would give a solution to the original puzzle of (5-2) + 4 + (3x1) = 10. You do not really need the parentheses on that one - sometimes you will.

There are lots more solutions - see how many you can find. Hint: you can always "lose" the 1 by multiplying, dividing, or exponentiating.

Bonus points (in my rating) for nontrivial use of exponents, or of division with a noninteger result!

Good Hunting!
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