Quite a phew! ...but who’s who?

By Mukul Sharma| Published: 09th September 2018 05:00 AM

Want a tough one to make you weep? Take this and stick to Agra Gharana stuff in future. Seven young singers made their debuts last week at seven opera houses around the world. Each of the seven sang on only one night during the week, Tuesday through Sunday. (As there are only six nights, not all seven sang on different nights, nor was there necessarily at least one debut on each night.

Each appeared in a different opera, either The Barber of Seville, La Bohème, Carmen, The Magic Flute, Rigoletto, La Traviata, or Turandot. The singers included three women – Joan, Leontyne and Renata – and four men – Enrico, Fyodor, Luciano and Placido; their last names are Caruso, Chaliapin, Domingo, Pavarotti, Price, Sutherland and Tebaldi.

Can you find the full name of the singer or singers who debuted each night, and match each with his or her vocal range (from highest to lowest, soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone or bass) and the opera and opera house in which he or she debuted)? Note: You may assume that a soprano or mezzo-soprano is a woman and that a tenor, baritone or bass is a man.

In order to further confuse you, here are 13 clues:

(1) No two women sang the same night or consecutive nights;

(2) The Barber of Seville (in which Luciano didn’t debut wasn’t sung at the Zurich Opera House;

(3) The singer whose surname is Chaliapin and the one who sang the night before the only bass both have the same type of voice;

(4) Two of the female singers are Leontyne (whose voice is higher than the singer whose surname is Sutherland) and the one who debuted at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow;

(5) Mr Domingo didn’t sing the night after one of the singers debuted at the Vienna Staatsoper.

(6) Joan (who is a soprano) sang four night before Mr Price;

(7) A tenor sang two nights after the debut at La Scala in Milan, and three nights before the singer whose surname is Pavarotti;

(8) The woman who debuted in La Traviata (which wasn’t performed at the Bolshoi) didn’t sing the night before Fyodor did;

(9) These five singers debuted on consecutive nights: Mr Tebaldi, the one who sang in La Bohème, the tenor who debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Placido, and the woman who debuted at the Bastille Opera House in Paris;

(10) Leontyne, whose voice is lower than that of the singer surnamed Caruso, debuted in an Opera with a one-word title;

(11) Turandot (which didn’t feature Luciano) was sung the night before The Magic Flute (which didn’t feature a debut by a tenor; (12) The singer who appeared in The Barber of Seville has a lower voice than the man who debuted in Rigoletto (which wasn’t performed in the Metropolitan); (13) The performance the Bastille took place three days after the one at Covent Garden in London.


(No one got the analogies problem all correct. Closest was 16 -- or in one case maybe 17 – but more of that next week. Apparently the hardest was: Pants: Side Stripes :: Socks : ? No one got it. The answer is “Clocks”. Look it up.)

After you know that the ages multiply to 72, you can work out the whole list of possibilities  of which only the following need be considered: Ages (2, 6, 6) or (3, 3, 8). Since you can’t figure out the ages even after knowing the street number you need additional information. Now, the next clue is that the oldest cousin likes ice-cream implies that there is one oldest cousin. And therefore 2, 6, 6 must be excluded so the ages are 3, 3 and 8. -- Leena Jolie, jolieleena1949@gmail.com

(The second one was: “Solve AAA + BBB + CCC = BAAC, if the letters A, B and C are distinct whole numbers from 1 to 9.”)

The answer is A = 9, B = 1 and C = 8. Solution got by taking 111A + 111B + 111C = 1000B + 100A + 10A + C. This reduces to A = 889B - 110C. Trying digits 1 to 9 for A, B and C we get the answer. -- Raghavendra Rao Hebbani, rao.raghavendrah@gmail.com
Surprisingly an easy one, that too from Dr Gnanaseharan! -- Abhay Prakash, abhayprakash@hotmail.com

(Yes, Ravichan Ramadurai, raviramad@gmail.com; Rekha G, g.rekhapai@gmail.com; J Vaseekhar Manuel, orcontactme@gmail.com; Narayanan P S, narayananpsn@gmail.com; Mallesh K S, ksmallesh@gmail.co, you also got it right.)

But Google This Now

Want an easy one now so you can pretend you didn’t read the tough one? What do the words SUBORDINATELY and AMBIDEXTROUSLY have something almost in common?
Sharma is a scriptwriter and
former editor of Science
Today magazine.

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