Combinatorics, Spam, and You: GMAT Math in Real Life

We love when you take the time to write comments on our blog!  And recently, a user named Quit Smoking Weed (who conveniently included a link to a website of the same name) commented on a post:

{Great|Wonderful|Fantastic|Magnificent|Excellent} beat ! I {wish to|would like to} apprentice while you amend your {site|web site|website}, how {can|could} i subscribe for a blog {site|web site|website}

Yes, that’s exactly how the post showed up. We found this comment both flattering and fascinating — an insight into the world of spam blog comments.  The programmer behind the auto-comment bot left some of the code available for all to see, and we now know that this program can produce dozens of unique-looking comments.  It has the choice to say:

Great/Wonderful/Fantastic/Magnificent/Excellent (choose one of five)

beat!  I:

wish to / would like to (choose one of two)

apprentice while you amend your:

site / web site / website (choose one of three)

how:

can/ could (choose one of two)

I subscribe for a blog:

site / web site / website (choose one of three)

It’s just like Mad Libs!  Except with links back to rogue websites and SEO ploys.  And it got us to thinking:  How many different comments can this particular bot create? Not only is it like Mad Libs, it’s a lot like the GMAT…  So let’s turn it into a GMAT problem.  With this bot, how many unique comments can be posted?

(A) 15
(B) 150
(C) 180
(D) 210
(E) 240

Post your (non-spam) comments in the comments section and we’ll be back later today with a solution!

UPDATE: Solution!  180.  As each decision point allows for a new set of sequences, you can calculate the total number of options by multiplying 5*2*3*2*3 = 180.

One Response

  1. mary says:

    c 180
    5C1*2C1*3C1*2C1*3C1=5*2*3*2*3=180

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