A party is being held at a local mansion. The host is very rich and his success is because of one thing — his famous recipe for Spaghetti!

The only guests that may attend are people who correctly reply to the guard at the door.

Here's where you come in. You and a friend are trying to steal this recipe. You sneak by and listen to the passwords.

The first guest arrives. The guard stops him and says: 22! The guest after a couple of seconds answers: 4! The guard allows him to pass.
It's time for the second guest. The guard yells: 136! The guest starts to think about it and comes out with 81. The guard nods and lets him pass.
Your friend has been spotted so he's forced to give an answer. You hear the guard say 44 and your friend, surprisingly, joins the party with his magic 22.
It's now your turn, because you can't be beaten by your friend. After the guard tells you 94, what will you answer to join your friend, already drunk and dancing with elephants?

Tomorrow (18-11) will be my birthday! I will be [answer] years old! It's up to you to find out how old I'll be!

Hint 1

Another guest arrives. The guard says 11 and the guest answers 1 and comes in with ease!

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ My detective work suggests you're applying for a PhD, so probably 20-25 years old? $\endgroup$ Nov 17, 2014 at 22:31
  • $\begingroup$ @rand Smart, I was about to do the same. Definitely above 18 and most likely below 30. Now we gotta start matching up algorithms lol! $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Nov 17, 2014 at 23:13
  • $\begingroup$ @warspyking - Probably above 18... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burt_Totaro $\endgroup$ Nov 17, 2014 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ @rand Well... That's highly improbable. If I were smart enough to go for a PhD younger than 18 (no offence puzzlers but,) I probably wouldn't be here right now lol! $\endgroup$
    – warspyking
    Nov 17, 2014 at 23:21
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Emi987 - Happy birthday! $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2014 at 13:14

1 Answer 1


My hunch is that it's got something to do with

dates. Each number called by the guard could be interpreted as a date (22 = 2 Feb, 136 = 13 Jun, 44 = 4 Apr, 94 = 9 Apr), and of course there's the mention of a birthday at the end.

2 Feb is the 33rd day of the year, 13 Jun the 164th (165th in a leap year), 4 Apr the 94th (95th in a leap year), and 9 Apr the 99th (100th in a leap year). So what function sends 33 to 4, 164 to 81, 94 to 22, and (thanks @Napokue) 99 to 27? Is it significant that 22 and 27 differ by 5, as do 94 and 99?

Am I on the right lines here?

  • $\begingroup$ Wrong way! :P But a clever one! $\endgroup$
    – Emi987
    Nov 18, 2014 at 20:47

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