## Sunday, January 06, 2013

### An Eleven Plus Dialogue

A bright and able girl arrived home late one afternoon. “Mum, we were doing some mathematics at school today and met this problem.”

“Well, I hope I can help.”

“If everyone had only two names, a Christian name and a surname, how many distinct pairs of initials could there be?”

“Yes, there were only three of us today, and we had to wait for quite a long while.”

“What other sums were you given to work on?”

“We had a work sheet with square numbers, square roots and numbers to the power of three. We also did some work on probability. That was easy.”

“Is there a clue with the work on numbers? You mean if you start with the letter `a’, how many combinations can there be?”

“I suppose 26 – because there is a, b, c, d and so on.”

“So if we add `b’ we now have another 26?”

“Mum, I know the answer, 262.”

“What is that?”

“26 times 26. Just wait. I know. It must end in 6 because 6 times 6 is 36. It must be 6 7 6!”

“Well done, dear!”