High as a kite...and we don’t mean avian!

I get it. Like a whole lot of you who for whatever existential reason that moves your spirit at the time want your name and/or your email ID withheld.

Published: 29th July 2018 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th July 2018 07:05 PM   |  A+A-

I get it. Like a whole lot of you who for whatever existential reason that moves your spirit at the time want your name and/or your email ID withheld. Yup, we’ll uphold that but it becomes a bit antsy for me when the above mentioned is to be withheld and then you end up withholding the right answer also. Then the only thing for me to do is to withhold that from you too, right? Hope you understood that.
Anyway, I used to be a pretty lousy kite flyer. My problem was I just couldn’t get the damn thing off the ground and into the air even when someone shoved it aloft for me at a distance in gale wind conditions. So one day I tied a helium balloon to it at the top and let it soar, thinking at one point the balloon would burst and I would have a kite flying higher than anybody else in my neck of the woods. So am I lying?

(The problem was about the number of people saying hellos to each other.)
With 16 people wishing each other hello and each returning the same the number of hellos will be 16*15 = 240. With two groups of four people, each not wishing hellos among their group the hellos 4*3 = 12 will be less. Thus with two groups, 24 will be less giving total hellos as 240 - 24 = 216. -- Raghavendra Rao Hebbani, rao.raghavendrah@gmail.com

If there are n persons in the room and the (n + 1)this entering there will be 2n hellos for 0 to 7 persons in the room and for the 1st to 8th entering, there will be 0 + 2 + 4 + . . . 14 hellos. For the 9th (1st member of family #1) entering, 16 hellos for the other three members of family #1 will only wish the 8 persons. Hence for 10, 11, 12th 16 + 16 + 16 hellos. Similarly for 13th (1st member of family $2) entering, 24 hellos and for 14, 15, 16th 24 + 24 + 24.total = 216. -- Abhishek Narayan, (Email ID withheld on request)

(The next one was about different amounts of pills in five identical jars and stuff.)
Take one tablet from bottle #1, two tablets from bottle #2, three tablets from bottle#3, four tablets from bottle #4 and five tablets from bottle #5 and put all 15 tablets on the scale and weigh them. Instead of 150 grams, the weight will be less by 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 grams. If it is 1 gram less it is the bottle #1, if it is 2 grams less it is the bottle #2 and so on. But why do you want to know which bottle is holding the lighter tablets? (Nothing better to do this week. – MS) -- Dr P Gnanaseharan, gnanam.chithrabanu@gmail.com

Number the bottles 1 to 5. Take one from 1, two from 2 and so on. We have 15 tablets. If all are 10 gms each then total weight will be 150 gms. If the total weight is less by 1 gm then the 9 gms tab is in bottle 1. If the total weight is less by 2 gms then the 9 gms tab is in bottle 2 and so on. -- V S Baskar, baskarvs@gmail.com

In your terminally wasted condition taking a pill that weighs 10gm might not be possible even for a robust person. Anything more than 1gm would need to be powdered, dissolved, etc, and cannot be swallowed whole! -- Dr.Ramakrishna Easwaran, drrke12@gmail.com
(Among the first five who also got it right are: Rajath P, rajathpremnath@gmail.com; Dhruv Narayan, dhruv510@gmail.com; Shashi Shekher Thakur, shashishekher@yahoo.com; Balagopalan Nair K, balagopalannair@gmail.com; A V Ramana Rao, raoavr@gmail.com)
(And finally a grouse to be responded one hopes.)

The reply to my question fetched no satisfactory answer. The answer read: “Imagine owing a friend a negative number of apples. This would be the same as having those apples in the first place! Thus (-4)*(-4) = +16.” But what is the role of multiplication in the above context? I prefer to see your considered response. -- Seshagiri Row Karry, srkarry@yahoo.com
(Hey Shashi Shekher Thakur, shashishekher@yahoo.com, you got something to say or do I have to consider the needful? – MS)

Typically, at a crowded noisy railway platform or at a party, we can hear our name being called out from a little distance, and sometimes we even know who’s calling. If the same “call” is recorded on a smartphone and played on an amplifier can we also hear our name called? (Submitted by Narayanan P S, narayananpsn@gmail.com)

Sharma is a scriptwriter and former editor of Science Today magazine. (mukul.mindsport@gmail.com)

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