Six women have gathered at a friend’s house for afternoon tea. While they are chatting, the doorbell rings. There is a census officer at the door who wants to note down their ages. The women are scandalized at the thought of revealing their true ages. Then the census officer offers a compromise. He says that his requirement will be fulfilled if he can get the average age of the women.
Can you think of a way by which the census officer can know the average age of the women without any of them knowing anyone else’s age?
Condition 1 – The women need to know the average age that the census officer puts in his report.
Condition 2 – The women are really paranoid - they do not want anyone else to know the numerical value of their ages, even if you cannot match the age with the actual person.
Note 1: If we remove the first condition, then the problem becomes somewhat simpler. If we remove the second condition then there are many simple solutions. No prizes for getting the solution after removing either of the conditions – but please do share these solutions in the comments section.
Note 2: There are many solutions that can satisfy all the conditions stated in the puzzle.
Let us get those grey cells working!