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## #5. If the symbols represent numbers, what is the answer to the 4th equation?

Buckle up – here’s how we get to the answer, which is 16.

We’ll call the shoes S, the cat C, and the whistle W – it’s algebra, folks! Mostly…

The first equation sets up the whole math puzzle. Three pairs of shoes added together equal thirty. S + S + S = 30, so divide 30 by three. **Each pair of sneakers represents the number 10.** .

So, in the second equation, first sub the shoes out for a 10, and you’ll find out 10 + C + C = 20. Subtract 10 from each side, so C + C = 10. **Each cat must represent the number 5.**

In the third equation, there are two whistles in each line, but the final one only has one whistle. So 5 + 2W + 2W = 13. If 4W = 8, then **each whistle represents the number 2.**

But wait – when you plug the numbers in (Sub S + C x W for 10 + 5 x 2) – something goes wrong.

The key is in the cat’s clothes. In the second and third equations, the cat has a whistle around its neck—but not in the last one.

No need to go back and redo all your hard work. Just change the last equation to S + (C – W) x W. Now plug the numbers in: 10 + (5 – 2) x 2. Work your way through it. The equation goes to 10 + (3) x 2, then 10 + 6. Finally, you get 16.

Voila!

Continue reading for the next teaser!