# 2022 AMC 8 Problems/Problem 16

## Problem

Four numbers are written in a row. The average of the first two is $21,$ the average of the middle two is $26,$ and the average of the last two is $30.$ What is the average of the first and last of the numbers? $\textbf{(A) } 24 \qquad \textbf{(B) } 25 \qquad \textbf{(C) } 26 \qquad \textbf{(D) } 27 \qquad \textbf{(E) } 28$

## Solution 1 (Arithmetic)

Note that the sum of the first two numbers is $21\cdot2=42,$ the sum of the middle two numbers is $26\cdot2=52,$ and the sum of the last two numbers is $30\cdot2=60.$

It follows that the sum of the four numbers is $42+60=102,$ so the sum of the first and last numbers is $102-52=50.$ Therefore, the average of the first and last numbers is $50\div2=\boxed{\textbf{(B) } 25}.$

~MRENTHUSIASM

## Solution 2 (Algebra)

Let $a,b,c,$ and $d$ be the four numbers in that order. We are given that \begin{align*} \frac{a+b}{2} &= 21, &(1) \\ \frac{b+c}{2} &= 26, &(2) \\ \frac{c+d}{2} &= 30, &(3) \end{align*} and we wish to find $\frac{a+d}{2}.$

We add $(1)$ and $(3),$ then subtract $(2)$ from the result: $$\frac{a+d}{2}=21+30-26=\boxed{\textbf{(B) } 25}.$$ ~MRENTHUSIASM

## Solution 3 (Assumption)

We can just assume some of the numbers. For example, let the first two numbers both be $21.$ It follows that the third number is $31,$ and the fourth number is $29.$ Therefore, the average of the first and last numbers is $\dfrac{21+29}2=\dfrac{50}2=\boxed{\textbf{(B) } 25}.$

We can check this with other sequences, such as $20,22,30,30,$ where the average of the first and last numbers is still $25.$

~wuwang2002

## Video Solution

~Interstigation

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