Posts Tagged ‘ mathematical puzzle ’

le Monde puzzle [#745]

October 20, 2011
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le Monde puzzle [#745]

The puzzle in Le Monde this weekend is not that clear (for a change!), so I may be confused in the following exposition: Three card players are betting with a certain (and different) number of chips each, between 4 and 9. After each game, the looser doubles the number of chips of the winner (while

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Le Monde puzzle [#739]

September 9, 2011
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Le Monde puzzle [#739]

The weekend puzzle in Le Monde this week is again about a clock.  Now, the clock has one hand and x ticks where a lamp is either on or off. The hand moves from tick to tick and each time the lights go on or off depending on whether or not both  neighbours were in

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Le Monde puzzle [#738]

September 1, 2011
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Le Monde puzzle [#738]

The Friday puzzle in Le Monde this week is about “friendly perfect squares”, namely perfect squares x2>10 and y2>10 with the same number of digits and such that, when drifting all digits of x2 by the same value a (modulo 10), one recovers y2. For instance, 121 is “friend” with 676. Here is my R

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Le Monde puzzle [#737 re-read]

August 27, 2011
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Le Monde puzzle [#737 re-read]

As a coincidence, while I was waiting for the solution to puzzle #737 published this Friday in Le Monde, the delivery (wo)man forgot to include the weekend magazine and I had to buy it this morning with my baguette (as if anyone cares!). The solution is (y0,z0,w0)=(38,40,46) and…it does not work! The value of (x1,y1,z1,w1) is

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Le Monde puzzle [#737]

August 26, 2011
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Le Monde puzzle [#737]

The puzzle in the weekend edition of Le Monde this week can be expressed as follows: Consider four integer sequences (xn), (yn), (zn), and (wn), such that and, if u=(xn,yn,zn,wn), for i=1,…,4, if ui is not the maximum of u and otherwise. Find the first return time n (if any) such that xn=0. Find the value

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Le Monde puzzle [#28]

July 22, 2011
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Le Monde puzzle [#28]

The puzzle of last weekend in Le Monde was about finding the absolute rank of x9 when given the relative ranks of x1,….,x8 and the possibility to ask for relative ranks of three numbers at a time. In R terms, this means being able to use or yet being able to sort the first 8

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Le Monde puzzle [#14.2]

May 14, 2011
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Le Monde puzzle [#14.2]

I received at last my weekend edition of Le Monde and hence the solution proposed by the authors (Cohen and Busser) to the puzzle #14. They obtain a strategy that only requires at most 19 steps. The idea is to start with a first test, which gives a reference score S0, and then work on

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Le Monde puzzle [#14]

May 13, 2011
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Le Monde puzzle [#14]

Last week Le Monde puzzle (I have not received this week issue yet!) was about deriving an optimal strategy in less than 25 steps for finding the 25 answers to a binary multiple choice test, when at each trial, only the number of correct answers is known. Hence, if the correct answers are y1,…,y25, and

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Le Monde puzzle #13

April 13, 2011
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Le Monde puzzle #13

This week, Le Monde offers not one but three related puzzles: Is it possible to label the twelve edges of a cube by consecutive numbers such that the sum of the edge numbers at any of the eight nodes is constant? Is it possible to label the eight nodes of a cube by consecutive numbers

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Le Monde puzzle [#8]

March 29, 2011
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Le Monde puzzle [#8]

Another mathematical puzzle from Le Monde that relates to a broken calculator (skipping the useless tale): Given a pair of arbitrary positive integers (x,y) a calculator can either substract the same integer from both x and y or multiply either x or y by 2. Is it always possible to obtain equal

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