2018 AMC 12B Problems/Problem 22

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Problem

Consider polynomials $P(x)$ of degree at most $3$, each of whose coefficients is an element of $\{0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9\}$. How many such polynomials satisfy $P(-1) = -9$?

$\textbf{(A) } 110 \qquad \textbf{(B) } 143 \qquad \textbf{(C) } 165 \qquad \textbf{(D) } 220 \qquad \textbf{(E) } 286$

Solution

Suppose our polynomial is equal to \[ax^3+bx^2+cx+d\]Then we are given that \[9=b+d-a-c.\]If we let $b=9-b', d=9-d'$ then we have \[9=a+c+b'+d'.\]The number of solutions to this equation is simply $\binom{12}{3}=220$ by stars and bars, so our answer is $\boxed{\textbf{D}.}$

See Also

2018 AMC 12B (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 21
Followed by
Problem 23
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All AMC 12 Problems and Solutions

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Solution 2

Suppose our polynomial is equal to \[ax^3+bx^2+cx+d\]Then we are given that \[9=b+d-a-c.\]Then the polynomials \[cx^3+bx^2+ax+d\], \[ax^3+dx^2+cx+b\], \[cx^3+dx^2+ax+b\]also meet the criteria. So the number of solutions must be divisible by 4. So the answer must be $\boxed{\textbf{D}.}$

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