How much of yourself can you see in a mirror? Anyone knowing even a teensy bit of the laws of reflection and stuff can work out that not all mirrors can reflect your whole body. (Obviously we’re not talking about our backs here.) However, a mirror that’s about half as long as you’re tall and placed on a wall where its top edge is in line with your eyes and the top of your head will reflect you in your grand and august entirety. Cool, no? But now here’s the thing -- the closer you go to a window the more of the outside becomes visible yet the closer you go to a mirror, a similar amount of that same exalted you is reflected back. Why? Just a thought. Think about it.
On the other hand, a monster is prowling around the perimeter of a perfectly circular pond. You’re sitting on a raft in the middle of the pond. The monster can move at four times the speed at which you can swim, but if you can reach the shore before the monster, you can escape. So how will you escape from the monster? Like what’s your strategy going to be?
(The problem was to fill in the blanks in a sentence where each of the missing words was an anagram of the earlier word plus an extra letter.)
The answer is: “I do not like IT,” said the man with the black TIE. “The RITE may be impressive, but when you INTER a man, you RETAIN a CERTAIN degree of propriety. REACTION against CREMATION will set in when the IMPORTANCE of this is realised.” – Anupa Jacob, email@example.com
The sentence was a little baffling. The first three words could be easily found, but the fourth word – “item” seemed to be more apt. One more option is “time”. But finding the fifth word was difficult. Then the word “black” gave a clue. After finalizing RITE, the fifth word took some time: INTER. After the fifth word, again it became easy. But anyway it took more than two hours to arrive at a meaningful sentence. -- J Gayathri Devi, firstname.lastname@example.org
This was an unusual puzzle. I have seen the following earlier: SPARKLING - SPARKING - SPARING - SPRING - SPRIG - PRIG - PIG - PI - I and STARTLING -STARLING - STARING - STRING - STING - SING - SIN - IN - I but this one was ten steps nicely woven together although slightly morbid. -- Ajit Athle, email@example.com
(Among the first five who also got it right are: Saikrishna Swaminathan, firstname.lastname@example.org; Varaha Murthy, email@example.com; Lloyd Gonsalvez, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dr A K Bhat, email@example.com; Dr Pushpendu, firstname.lastname@example.org)
(The other problem was to convert ‘AT’ to ‘AS’ using the following four rules? (1) You can add ‘T’ at the end of a string ending with ‘S’; (2) For a string ‘Ax’, you can write it as ‘Axx’; (3) Whenever you find a ‘TTT’ string, you can turn it to an ‘S’; (4) Whenever you find an ‘SS’, you can remove it from the string.)
AT ATT (using rule #2); ATTTT (using rule #2); ATTTTTTTT (using rule #2); ATTTTTS (using rule #3); ATTSS (using rule #3); ATTSST (using rule #1); ATTT (using rule #4); AS (using rule #3). -- Dhruv Narayan, email@example.com
Consider AT in the word ATLAS. Applying rule 1, it becomes ATLAST. Applying rule 2, it is converted to ATTLASST. Applying rule 4, it becomes ATTLAT. Again applying rule 2, it changes into ATTTLATTT. Using rule 3, ie replacing TTT by S, it becomes ASLAS. Thus the string AT in ATLAS is converted into AS in ASLAS. -- Dr K N Murty, firstname.lastname@example.org
(The last was a chess puzzle involving a knight and a mini chessboard as explained below.)
The movement of the knight in the 4x5 mini chessboard, when the top row is numbered as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and second row as 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and so on with the last row numbered as 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, is as follows: 16-13-20-9-2-11-18-15-4-7-14-5-8-1-12-19-10-3-6-17. The movement of the knight in pictorial form is attached. -- Guruchandran P S, email@example.com
BUT GOOGLE THIS NOW
1. Given below are 13 five-lettered nouns, each of which has had two of its letters removed. In total they comprise 26 letters from A to Z. The remaining letters in each word are in correct order. What are the original words? CLH, DIR, INE, EBA, UAL, TOE, YAT, COH, REA, OKR, AOR, REE, SAM.
2. How many numbers between 1 and 1,000,000 have the sum of their digits as 18?
— Sharma is a scriptwriter and former editor of Science Today magazine.