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Today Puzzle #612

Puzzle No. 612– Friday 15 November

'Cardiff University’, the wonder behold,

In November 2018, the riddle tells how old:

Infancy lasted the first full nine years,

One-ninth of life later, a building appears.

After three-fifths more, I merged my abode;

And another one-fifteenth, full powers bestowed.

Twenty-one years on and I'm now flying high,

At the heart of Wales capital, how old am I?

Today’s #PuzzleForToday has been set by Dr Matthew Lettington from the School of Mathematics

Click here for the answer

Answer: Cardiff University was 135 years old as at November 2018 and so 136 years old as at November 2019 (today).

Solution: Let C be the age of Cardiff University in years. Then from the riddle we have


and bringing all C terms to the left-hand-side gives us

c(1-35/45)=30 =>10c/45=30 => c=45x30/10 => c=135

Hence Cardiff University was 135 years old as at November 2018.

Timelines: The evolutionary timelines for Cardiff University encoded in the riddle are given below.

University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire established 24

th October 1883.

9 years infancy takes us to 1892 (10

th year University of Wales founded allowing constituent Colleges to award own degrees in 1893).

15 years on and Main Building under construction using Portland stone 1907 (Construction took place 1905-1909).

81 years later the merger took place with UWIST in 1988.

9 years on and the College of Cardiff was granted full independent degree-awarding powers by the Privy Council in 1997 (started to be used in 1999 with the name Cardiff University).

After a further 21 years we are at 24th October 2018 and so aged 135 years as at November 2018 and 135+1=136 years old in November 2019

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