# 1989 AIME Problems/Problem 4

## Problem

If $a are consecutive positive integers such that $b+c+d$ is a perfect square and $a+b+c+d+e$ is a perfect cube, what is the smallest possible value of $c$?

## Solution

Since the middle term of an arithmetic progression with an odd number of terms is the average of the series, we know $b + c + d = 3c$ and $a + b + c + d + e = 5c$. Thus, $c$ must be in the form of $3 \cdot x^2$ based upon the first part and in the form of $5^2 \cdot y^3$ based upon the second part, with $x$ and $y$ denoting an integers. $c$ is minimized if it’s prime factorization contains only $3,5$, and since there is a cubed term in $5^2 \cdot y^3$, $3^3$ must be a factor of $c$. $3^35^2 = \boxed{675}$, which works as the solution.

## Solution 2

Let $b$, $c$, $d$, and $e$ equal $a+1$, $a+2$, $a+3$, and $a+4$, respectively. Call the square and cube $k^2$ and $m^3$, where both k and m are integers. Then:

$5a + 10 = m^3$

Now we know $m^3$ is a multiple of 125 and $m$ is a multiple of 5. The lower $m$ is, the lower the value of $c$ will be. Start from 5 and add 5 each time.

$m = 5$ gives no solution for k

$m = 10$ gives no solution for k

$m = 15$ gives a solution for k.

$10 + 5a = 15^3$

$2 + a = 675$

$c = \boxed{675}$

-jackshi2006

## Solution 3

Let the numbers be $a,a+1,a+2,a+3,a+4.$ When then know $3a+6$ is a perfect cube and $5a+10$ is perfect cube. Since $5a+10$ is divisible by $5$ we know that $5a+10 = (5k)^3$ since otherwise we get a contradiction. This means $a = 25k^3 - 2$ in which plugging into the other expression we know $3(25k^3 - 2) + 6 = 75k^3$ is a perfect square. We know $75 = 5^2 \cdot 3$ so we let $k = 3$ to obtain the perfect square. This means that $c = a+2 = (25 \cdot 27 - 2)+2 = 25 \cdot 27 = \boxed{675}.$

## Solution 4

(This is literally a combination of 1 and 3)

Since $a$, $b$, $c$, $d$, and $e$ are consecutive, $a = c-2$, $b = c-1$, $c=c$, $d = c+1$, and $e = c+2$.

Because $b+c+d = 3c$ is a perfect square, and $a+b+c+d+e = 5c$ is a perfect cube, we can express $c$ as $c = 3^{n} \cdot 5^{k}$.

Now, by the problem's given information,

$k \equiv 0 \text{(mod 2)}$

$n \equiv 0 \text{(mod 3)}$

and because ALL exponents have to be cubes/squares,

$k \equiv 2 \text{(mod 3)}$

$n \equiv 1 \text{(mod 2)}$

Therefore,

$k = 2$

$n = 3$

$c = 3^3 \cdot 5^2 = \boxed{675}$.

~ethanhansummerfun