Problem #304

304.

Every card in a deck has a picture of one shape - circle, square, or triangle, which is painted in one of the three colors - red, blue, or green. Furthermore, each color is applied in one of three shades - light, medium, or dark. The deck has 27 cards, with every shape-color-shade combination represented. A set of three cards from the deck is called complementary if all of the following statements are true:

i. Either each of the three cards has a different shape or all three of the card have the same shape.

ii. Either each of the three cards has a different color or all three of the cards have the same color.

iii. Either each of the three cards has a different shade or all three of the cards have the same shade.

How many different complementary three-card sets are there?

This problem is copyrighted by the American Mathematics Competitions.

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Instructions for entering answers:

  • Reduce fractions to lowest terms and enter in the form 7/9.
  • Numbers involving pi should be written as 7pi or 7pi/3 as appropriate.
  • Square roots should be written as sqrt(3), 5sqrt(5), sqrt(3)/2, or 7sqrt(2)/3 as appropriate.
  • Exponents should be entered in the form 10^10.
  • If the problem is multiple choice, enter the appropriate (capital) letter.
  • Enter points with parentheses, like so: (4,5)
  • Complex numbers should be entered in rectangular form unless otherwise specified, like so: 3+4i. If there is no real component, enter only the imaginary component (i.e. 2i, NOT 0+2i).

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