I had dinner with my high school friends, all of whom are extremely bright and talented people. Naturally, we started to talk about politics and work, etc, and someone brought up the average intelligence of his colleagues, how they are are extremely bright and it is interesting to tease out this fact in interviews. We were discussing off the wall interview questions we’ve been hearing about lately.

Another friend of mine posed the following math puzzle:

You are given a standard deck of cards. The ace has a value of 1, jack is 11, queen 12 and king is 13.

You are asked to assemble a magic square - the sum of the values in every row = the sum of values in every column = the sum of values in both diagnols - of dimension 3x3. This sum, by the way, is called the magic sum or magic constant.

What is the maximum ‘magic sum’ possible such that every card is unique? (again, dimension 3x3)

I have another, simpler probability word problem. The above problem, by the way, I don’t think is on the internet. I have checked.

EDIT: Yo Momma is right, but I did specify ‘of dimension 3x3’