2008 AMC 10B Problems/Problem 21

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Ten chairs are evenly spaced around a round table and numbered clockwise from $1$ through $10$. Five married couples are to sit in the chairs with men and women alternating, and no one is to sit either next to or across from his/her spouse. How many seating arrangements are possible?

$\mathrm{(A)}\ 240\qquad\mathrm{(B)}\ 360\qquad\mathrm{(C)}\ 480\qquad\mathrm{(D)}\ 540\qquad\mathrm{(E)}\ 720$


For the first man, there are $10$ possible seats. For each subsequent man, there are $4$, $3$, $2$, or $1$ possible seats. After the men are seated, there are only two possible arrangements for the five women. The answer is $10\cdot 4\cdot 3\cdot 2\cdot 1\cdot 2 = \boxed{(\text{C}) 480}$.

Solution 2

Label the seats ABCDEFGHIJ, where A is the top seat. The first man has $10$ possible seats. WLOG, assume he is in seat A in the diagram. Then, his wife can be in one of two seats, namely D or H. WLOG, assume she is in seat D. Now, in each structurally distinct solution we find, we know that there are $4! = 24$ ways to arrange the 4 other couples. Let there be x structurally distinct solutions under these conditions. We know the answer must be $10\cdot 2\cdot 24\cdot x = 480x$ possible seating arrangements, and x is a nonnegative integer. There is only one answer that is a multiple of $480$. So, our answer is $\boxed{(\text{C}) 480}$.

~ Milk_123

See also

2008 AMC 10B (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 20
Followed by
Problem 22
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All AMC 10 Problems and Solutions

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