# 2001 AMC 12 Problems/Problem 21

## Problem

Four positive integers $a$, $b$, $c$, and $d$ have a product of $8!$ and satisfy:

\begin{align*} ab + a + b & = 524 \\ bc + b + c & = 146 \\ cd + c + d & = 104 \end{align*}

What is $a-d$?

$\text{(A) }4 \qquad \text{(B) }6 \qquad \text{(C) }8 \qquad \text{(D) }10 \qquad \text{(E) }12$

## Solution 1

Using Simon's Favorite Factoring Trick, we can rewrite the three equations as follows:

\begin{align*} (a+1)(b+1) & = 525 \\ (b+1)(c+1) & = 147 \\ (c+1)(d+1) & = 105 \end{align*}

Let $(e,f,g,h)=(a+1,b+1,c+1,d+1)$. We get:

\begin{align*} ef & = 3\cdot 5\cdot 5\cdot 7 \\ fg & = 3\cdot 7\cdot 7 \\ gh & = 3\cdot 5\cdot 7 \end{align*}

Clearly $7^2$ divides $fg$. On the other hand, $7^2$ can not divide $f$, as it then would divide $ef$. Similarly, $7^2$ can not divide $g$. Hence $7$ divides both $f$ and $g$. This leaves us with only two cases: $(f,g)=(7,21)$ and $(f,g)=(21,7)$.

The first case solves to $(e,f,g,h)=(75,7,21,5)$, which gives us $(a,b,c,d)=(74,6,20,4)$, but then $abcd \not= 8!$. (We do not need to multiply, it is enough to note e.g. that the left hand side is not divisible by $7$.) Also, a - d equals $70$ in this case, which is way too large to fit the answer choices.

The second case solves to $(e,f,g,h)=(25,21,7,15)$, which gives us a valid quadruple $(a,b,c,d)=(24,20,6,14)$, and we have $a-d=24-14 =\boxed{10}$.

## Solution 2

As above, we can write the equations as follows:

\begin{align*} (a+1)(b+1) & = 525 \\ (b+1)(c+1) & = 147 \\ (c+1)(d+1) & = 105 \end{align*}

Looking at the first two equations, we know that $a+1$ but not $b+1$ is a multiple of 5, and looking at the last two equations, we know that $(d+1)$ but not $(c+1)$ must be a multiple of 5 (since if $b+1$ or $c+1$ was a multiple of 5, then $(b+1)(c+1)$ would also be a multiple of 5).

Thus, $a \equiv d \equiv 0 \hspace{1 mm} \text{(mod 5)}$, and $a - d \equiv 0 \hspace{1 mm} \text{(mod 5)}$. The only answer choice where this is true is $\boxed{\text{D) 10}}$.