**Reference: Nordic Mathematical Contest 1987, R. Todev:**

**Question:**

Let f be a function, defined for natural numbers, that is strictly increasing, such that values of the function are also natural numbers and which satisfies the conditions and for all natural numbers m and n. Define the smallest possible value of a.

**Solution:**

Since, is a function satisfying the conditions of the problem, the smallest possible a is at most 4. Assume that . It is easy to prove by induction that for all . So, taking into account that f is strictly increasing, we get

as well as .

So, we arrive at . But, this is not possible, since is an integer. So, .

Cheers,

Nalin Pithwa.