2023 AMC 8 Problems/Problem 25

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Fifteen integers $a_1, a_2, a_3, \dots, a_{15}$ are arranged in order on a number line. The integers are equally spaced and have the property that \[1 \le a_1 \le 10, \thickspace 13 \le a_2 \le 20, \thickspace \text{ and } \thickspace 241 \le a_{15}\le 250.\] What is the sum of digits of $a_{14}?$

$\textbf{(A)}\ 8 \qquad \textbf{(B)}\ 9 \qquad \textbf{(C)}\ 10 \qquad \textbf{(D)}\ 11 \qquad \textbf{(E)}\ 12$

Solution 1

We can find the possible values of the common difference by finding the numbers which satisfy the conditions. To do this, we find the minimum of the last two: $241-20=221$, and the maximum–$250-13=237$. There is a difference of $13$ between them, so only $17$ and $18$ work, as $17\cdot13=221$, so $17$ satisfies $221\leq 13x\leq237$. The number $18$ is similarly found. $19$, however, is too much.

Now, we check with the first and last equations using the same method. We know $241-10\leq 14x\leq250-1$. Therefore, $231\leq 14x\leq249$. We test both values we just got, and we can realize that $18$ is too large to satisfy this inequality. On the other hand, we can now find that the difference will be $17$, which satisfies this inequality.

The last step is to find the first term. We know that the first term can only be from $1$ to $3$ since any larger value would render the second inequality invalid. Testing these three, we find that only $a_1=3$ will satisfy all the inequalities. Therefore, $a_{14}=13\cdot17+3=224$. The sum of the digits is therefore $\boxed{\textbf{(A)}\ 8}$.

~apex304, SohumUttamchandani, wuwang2002, TaeKim, Cxrupptedpat

Solution 2 (most intuitive solution)

Let the common difference between consecutive $a_i$ be $d$. Since $a_{15} - a_1 = 14d$, we find from the first and last inequalities that $231 \le 14d \le 249$. As $d$ must be an integer, this means $d = 17$. Substituting this into all of the given inequalities so we may extract information about $a_1$ gives \[1 \le a_1 \le 10, \thickspace 13 \le a_1 + 17 \le 20, \thickspace 241 \le a_1 + 238 \le 250.\] The second inequality tells us that $1 \le a_1 \le 3$ while the last inequality tells us $3 \le a_1 \le 12$, so we must have $a_1 = 3$. Finally, to solve for $a_{14}$, we simply have $a_{14} = a_1 + 13d = 3 + 13(17) = 3 + 221 = 224$, so our answer is $2 + 2 + 4 = \boxed{\textbf{(A)}\ 8}$.

~eibc (edited by CHECKMATE2021)

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See Also

2023 AMC 8 (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 24
Followed by
Last Problem
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All AJHSME/AMC 8 Problems and Solutions

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