Three Daughters

Two friend mathematicians meet each after a long time and have the following conversation:

– I have 3 daughters, the product of their ages is 36.
– I can’t figure out how old they are, can you tell me more?
– Sure, the sum of their ages is equal to the number of my house.
– I know your house number, but still can’t figure out the ages of your daughters.
– Also, my eldest daughter is called Monica.
– OK, now I know how old your daughters are.

What ages are the three daughters of the mathematician?

Using the first clue, we find that there are 8 possibilities:

(1, 1, 36) -> sum 38
(1, 2, 18) -> sum 21
(1, 3, 12) -> sum 16
(1, 4, 9) -> sum 14
(1, 6, 6) -> sum 13
(2, 2, 9) -> sum 13
(2, 3, 6) -> sum 11
(3, 3, 4) -> sum 10

Since the second mathematician couldn’t guess the ages even after the second clue, the sum has to be 13. Therefore the only possible options are (1, 6, 6) and (2, 2, 9). However, the third clue suggests that there is an “eldest” daughter and then the correct answer is 2, 2 and 9.

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