There are x people and y chairs in a room where x and y are positive prime numbers. How many ways can the x people be seated in the y chairs (assuming that each chair can seat exactly one person)?
(1) x + y = 12
(2) There are more chairs than people.
(A) Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but statement (2) alone is not.
(B) Statement (2) ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but statement (1) alone is not.
(C) Statements (1) and (2) TAKEN TOGETHER are sufficient to answer the question, but NEITHER statement ALONE is sufficient.
(D) EACH statement ALONE is sufficient to answer the question.
(E) Statements (1) and (2) TAKEN TOGETHER are NOT sufficient to answer the question.
This question is simply asking us to come up with the number of permutations that can be formed when x people are seated in y chairs. It would seem that all we require is the values of x and y. Let’s keep in mind that the question stem adds that x and y must be prime integers.
(1) SUFFICIENT: If x and y are prime numbers and add up to 12, x and y must be either 7 and 5 or 5 and 7. Would the number of permutations be the same for both sets of values?
Let’s start with x = 7, y = 5. The number of ways to seat 7 people in 5 positions (chairs) is 7!/2!. We divide by 2! because 2 of the people are not selected in each seating arrangement and the order among those two people is therefore not significant. An anagram grid for this permutation would look like this:
But what if x = 5 and y = 7? How many ways are there to position five people in 7 chairs? It turns out the number of permutations is the same. One way to think of this is to consider that in addition to the five people (A,B,C,D,E), you are seating two ghosts (X,X). The number of ways to seat A,B,C,D,E,X,X would be 7!/2!. We divide by 2! to eliminate order from the identical X’s.
Another way to look at this is by focusing on the chairs as the pool from which you are choosing. It’s as if we are fixing the people in place and counting the number of ways that different chair positions can be assigned to those people. The same anagram grid as above would apply, but now the letters would correspond to the 7 chairs being assigned to each of the five fixed people. Two of the chairs would be unassigned, and thus we still divide by 2! to eliminate order between those two chairs.
(2) INSUFFICIENT: This statement does not tell us anything about the values of x and y, other than y > x. The temptation in this problem is to think that you need statement 2 in conjunction with statement 1 to distinguish between the x = 5, y= 7 and the x = 7, y = 5 scenarios.
The correct answer is A: Statement (1) ALONE is sufficient to answer the question, but statement (2) alone is not