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My salary is $2,000, I am of Armenian descent and am 31 years old.

However my friend, is of German descent and is 26 but he earns $8,000.

I think this is blatant discrimination but can you guys find me a logical way that such could occur?

Bonus questions, these contain spoilers for the main problem, and therefore should not be solved before it.

Find the ideal person (who is still over 18) that could minimize and maximize the salary.

Edit: Since this question is now moot I will just provide the answer but keep it in a spoiler.

It is based on the country's age and the employee's age. So Armenia became independent in 1991, which is 33 years to this day, and I am 31, which gives 2, so 2,000 bucks. West and East Germany unified to form Germany on 1990, gives the age of 34 and my friend is 26, which leaves 8 years, to 8,000 bucks.

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It's hard to be certain without seeing the answer, but this feels like it's too much of a guess-what-I'm-thinking puzzle. Presumably the idea is that there's some way to take "Armenian" + "31" and get the number 2, and to take "German" + "26" and get the number 8. But unless there's some clearly uniquely elegant in hindsight way to do it, this feels really underconstrained. By way of illustration, here are some possible answers which seem roughly equally plausible to me.

Perhaps each person's salary is \$1000 times the position in the alphabet of the start of their country's name, plus one. So Armenia -> A -> 1 -> 2 -> \$2000; Germany -> G -> 7 -> 8 -> \$8000.

Or

Perhaps each person's salary is \$2000, doubled once for each zero in the binary representation of their age in years. You are 31 = 11111; no zeros, no doublings. Your friend is 26 = 11010; two zeros, two doublings, so \$8000.

Or

Perhaps each person's salary in kilobucks is obtained by taking the sum of the base-10 digits in their age (4 for you, 8 for your friend) and dividing by the number of times the first letter in their country-name occurs. "Armenia" has two "A"s, so you get not \$4000 but half that. "Germany" has just the one "G", so your friend gets the full \$8000.

If the intended answer is clearly much more elegant than any of these, then I retract my criticism and repent. If not, then I submit that the question doesn't provide enough information to identify a single solution as correct.

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  • $\begingroup$ I honestly thought this was quite easy. I was thinking of putting a hint or two. I suppose I'll delete the question. $\endgroup$
    – The_AH
    Commented Jul 1 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ Like seriously this has to be overthinking. There is no way I can believe someone did not intentionally gloss over the actual answer and thought of this. The actual answer is I would argue much easier than any of this. $\endgroup$
    – The_AH
    Commented Jul 1 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ Fine I added a related tag. $\endgroup$
    – The_AH
    Commented Jul 2 at 8:00
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    $\begingroup$ @The_AH nothing in the original question hinted at history being relevant, so I don't see how Gareth's guesses were more of a stretch than your intended solution. It might just seem that way if you're more cognizant of history that your average puzzle.se stackizen. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 3 at 11:33
  • $\begingroup$ @PuzzlingFerret I suppose I was a bit aggressive with my original comments. Also how can I comment on a closed question? $\endgroup$
    – The_AH
    Commented Jul 3 at 13:43

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