For example, I suspect that most of the readers are sufficiently computationally competent where the primes problem is more easily viewed as a problem on caculating the time to find a brute force solution. There’s only 10 pairs to consider and by the level the AMC is reached the average competitor should be able to run through those within 20 seconds (or less). In fact, assuming we really don’t know the answer upon look at the problem and we know one of the corect answers is listed, we can halve that calculation time to get he expected time to reach the answer.

That’s part of the reason the “What is Missing” problems get more comments. The computational component is removed so the people with poor computational abilities can still reason through the problem, but the people with good computation capabilities won’t dismiss it as “Bah, you don’t need me or that, have a computer do it.”

Interestingly, this issue comes up wih my public school 3rd grader who is inundated with “do problems 4-41” type homework that are all straight forward what’s the answer of x operator y = . While the rote learning is important for the ability to calculate, I find myself coming up with a problem each night that will hopefully stretch her understanding to actually looking at principles and problem solving.

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