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Seeing stars!

Black background with stars

Yes, I am seeing stars in broad daylight! I wasn't until Sudhir arrived. But he came and forced a piece of paper into my hands and demanded that I solve the problem written on it. I could see nothing on the piece of paper except a number of stars. This is what was written on it: ** x ** - * = 120.

"What is this? I can seen five stars, an "x", a dash, an "equal" sign, and the number 120. What is there to solve?" I asked.

"Well, the stars represent digits; each star is a digit ranging from 0 to 9. So, ** is a two digit number, while * is a single-digit number. The "x" is a multiplication symbol, the dash is a minus symbol, and the "equal" sign, of course, is the "equal to" symbol. There you are, go ahead and solve it," Sudhir replied. And, yes, the two-digit numbers don't have a leading zero; for instance, you can't write 9 as 09.

"So, what you have is a two-digit number multiplied by a two-digit number minus a single-digit number = 120," he explained. "And, yes, there may be more than one answer," he said.

These stars are making my head spin. Will you help me solve it?






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  • Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
  • IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
  • Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
  • Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
  • IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
  • Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
  • Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
  • Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
  • Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu