# 2005 AMC 10B Problems/Problem 24

## Problem

Let $x$ and $y$ be two-digit integers such that $y$ is obtained by reversing the digits of $x$. The integers $x$ and $y$ satisfy $x^2 - y^2 = m^2$ for some positive integer $m$. What is $x + y + m$?

$\mathrm{(A)} 88 \qquad \mathrm{(B)} 112 \qquad \mathrm{(C)} 116 \qquad \mathrm{(D)} 144 \qquad \mathrm{(E)} 154$

## Solution

Let $x = 10a+b, y = 10b+a$, without loss of generality with $a>b$. Then $x^2 - y^2 = (x-y)(x+y) = (9a - 9b)(11a + 11b) = 99(a-b)(a+b) = m^2$. It follows that $11|(a-b)(a+b)$, but $a-b < 10$ so $11|a+b \Longrightarrow a+b=11$. Then we have $33^2(a-b) = m^2$. Thus $a-b$ is a perfect square. Also, because $a-b$ and $a+b$ have the same parity, $a-b$ is a one-digit odd perfect square, namely $1$ or $9$. The latter case gives $(a,b) = (10,1)$, which does not work. The former case gives $(a,b) = (6,5)$, which works, and we have $x+y+m = 65 + 56 + 33 = 154\ \mathbf{(E)}$.

## Solution 2

The first steps are the same as above. Let $x = 10a+b, y = 10b+a$, where we know that a and b are digits (whole numbers less than 10). Like above, we end up getting $(9a - 9b)(11a + 11b) = 99(a-b)(a+b) = m^2$. This is where the solution diverges.

We know that the left side of the equation is a perfect square because m is an integer. If we factor 99 into its prime factors, we get $3^2 * 11$. In order to get a perfect square on the left side, $(a-b)(a+b)$ must make both prime exponents even. Because the a and b are digits, a simple guess would be that $(a+b)$ (the bigger number) equals 11 while $(a-b)$ is a factor of nine (1 or 9). The correct guesses are $a = 6, b = 5$ causing $x = 65, y = 56,$ and $m = 33$. The sum of the numbers is $\boxed{\textbf{(E) }154}$

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