# 1993 AIME Problems/Problem 9

## Problem

Two thousand points are given on a circle. Label one of the points $1$. From this point, count $2$ points in the clockwise direction and label this point $2$. From the point labeled $2$, count $3$ points in the clockwise direction and label this point $3$. (See figure.) Continue this process until the labels $1,2,3\dots,1993\,$ are all used. Some of the points on the circle will have more than one label and some points will not have a label. What is the smallest integer that labels the same point as $1993$?

## Solution

The label $1993$ will occur on the $\frac12(1993)(1994) \pmod{2000}$th point around the circle. (Starting from 1) A number $n$ will only occupy the same point on the circle if $\frac12(n)(n + 1)\equiv \frac12(1993)(1994) \pmod{2000}$.

Simplifying this expression, we see that $(1993)(1994) - (n)(n + 1) = (1993 - n)(1994 + n)\equiv 0\pmod{2000}$. Therefore, one of $1993 - n$ or $1994 + n$ is odd, and each of them must be a multiple of $125$ or $16$.

For $1993 - n$ to be a multiple of $125$ and $1994 + n$ to be a multiple of $16$, $n \equiv 118 \pmod {125}$ and $n\equiv 6 \pmod {16}$. The smallest $n$ for this case is $118$.

In order for $1993 - n$ to be a multiple of $16$ and $1994 + n$ to be a multiple of $125$, $n\equiv 9\pmod{16}$ and $n\equiv 6\pmod{125}$. The smallest $n$ for this case is larger than $118$, so $\boxed{118}$ is our answer.

Note: One can just substitute $1993\equiv-7\pmod{2000}$ and $1994\equiv-6\pmod{2000}$ to simplify calculations.

The problems on this page are copyrighted by the Mathematical Association of America's American Mathematics Competitions. 