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Did you know that the only six-letter word in the English language that can be spelt in a totally different way without using any of the original letters?

Published: 03rd September 2016 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd September 2016 12:41 PM   |  A+A-

Did you know that the only six-letter word in the English language that can be spelt in a totally different way without using any of the original letters while retaining the exact pronunciation is COFFEE? Here’s the solution: KAWPHY. Cool? So obviously we have to have a problem dealing with the brew and here it comes: If you stir a cup of kawphy and then let it come to rest. At least one point on the kawphy’s surface will be back in its original place. So why is this guaranteed every time?  (Incidentally it is guaranteed, so don’t go around wondering if it’s not.)

Okay, I’ll make it a bit more difficult and even more interesting. According to one authority, if you were to rip out a page of a book, crumple it, make it into a wad, and they lay the wadded ball back on the book, at least one point on the crumpled page will be directly over its original position.

THROUGHPUT

(The question was: “In the circus Globe of Death a motorcyclist would ride the bike at high speed inside a large spherical cage. Would he be able to do the same if the cage was also rotated (a) in the same direction or (b) in the opposite direction to the biker?”)

The motorcyclist would not be able to do it if the globe is also rotated in the opposite direction as the motorcycle. This is because the motorcyclist needs a sufficient amount of speed and must keep moving forward to ride inside the globe without falling to the bottom, but here the situation is similar to running on a treadmill. You would need more effort to keep moving forward. -- ReubenRomal Thomas, reubenromal123@gmail.com

For a motorcyclist riding the bike at high speed inside a large spherical cage, to keep control of the bike while performing vertical loops, the normal force on the tyres at the top must at least be equal to or exceed the combined weight of himself and that of the bike. Mathematically speaking, the minimum speed at which this condition is satisfied is about 15 mph which is not at all that fast. If the cage was also rotated in the same direction as that of biker, it will aid the motorcyclist, who then will be able to perform the vertical loop with a bike speed less than 15mph. If the cage was rotated in a direction opposite to that of biker, then the biker would be required to increase the bike speed to a value 15mph. -- Narayana Murty Karri, k_n_murty@yahoo.com

(The second one was: “A man walks to a security gate and a recorded voice utters “12”. The man replies “6” and is let in. Another man hears “6” to which he replies “3” and is let in, too. I go to the gate and hear “8”. I reply, “4”, and am not let in. Why?”)

The answer to the recorded voice is 5. The reply to the recorded voice is the number of letters in the voice-recorded number. Twelve has 6 letters, six has 3; hence the answer to eight is 5. -- T S Sanath Kumar, sanathkumarts1958@gmail.com

By the way, this one was too easy. -- Aniruddha Rao, aniruddharao741@gmail.com (So why didn’t you try the more difficult ones instead? -- MS)

(The first five to get it also correct are: Animesh Jena, animeshjena5@gmail.com; Advaithram Ravichandran, advaithbarca@gmail.com; Tholeti Chandrashekhar, tholeti.cs@gmail.com; Aravind Suresh, aravind.suresh@hotmail.com; Ganesh Ram Palanisamy, 1969ganram@gmail.com.)

(The third problem was: “UNCERTAINTY is to HEISENBERG as UNDECIDABILITY is to . . . ?” A lot of people also wrote in TURING but the correct answer is what we’re running here, though the first is slightly more correct.)

UNDECIDABILITY is to KURT GODEL, the Austrian-American logician and philosopher who first proposed the incompleteness theorems. -- Saishankar Swaminathan, saishankar482@gmail.com

I have mustered up courage to answer your question where the name Heisenberg drew my attention. HEISENBERG is to UNCERTAINTY as UNDECIDABILITY is to PARIS-HARRINGTON. -- Surkaav S, surkaav@gmail.com

1. If someone can solve the following anagram, they definitely deserve a pat: “BET THINGS RATTLE MORE IN ROAD”. (Hint: It deals with India’s recently concluded Olympic outing!) -- Submitted by A V Ramana Rao, raoavr@gmail.com

2. Everyone knows manhole covers are round so that when they are taken out for whatever reason they don’t fall into the manhole. So why are manholes in industrial boilers elliptical?

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

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