A bunch of pretty peeved people (you know who you are so I’m not naming alphanumerics) have been writing in from time to time that even though they give the correct answer and give it early enough, their names are not run. This is true. But for some very flimsy reasons. Firstly I can’t run all names since more that 200 replies come in. So, yes, the early birds tend to get wormier than others. Secondly I don’t run wrong answers. Thus what’s left to choose from are (a) solutions containing added info on the problem; (b) responses that involve a different or lateral take; (c) fully worked out answers and not just “76” or “HERE” etc; and finally, (d) quirky, zany, screwy, feisty – in short INTERESTING answers. Moving on . . .
If a juggler juggles three different coloured objects, how many throws are necessary to return the objects to their starting positions if each object is thrown to the opposite hand at least once and a standard juggling pattern is used (ie: one hand throws an object, then the second hand throws an object, then the 1st, etc), and the juggler starts out with two objects in one hand (the 1st hand to throw an object) and one in the other?
(Last fortnight’s first problem was about a fly and a spider on opposite walls of a rectangular room and . . . heck it’s too long to go into, but you can figure it out.)
On the fly’s wall, the fly must position himself 11 inches from the top and 6 inches from both the sides. In this situation, the spider will have to travel a distance of (11 inches down + 40 inches across + 1 inch upwards) = 52 inches. However, the shortest distance the spider will travel can be obtained by making an orthographic drawing of the room by unfolding the walls. This distance is the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle whose legs are (1 + 40 + 1) inches and (12 + 12) inches which is 42 inches and 24 inches respectively. The length of the hypotenuse is the square root of (42)^2 + (24 )^2 = 48.4 inches. -- Shashi Shekher Thakur, email@example.com
(The second one was: “What number should replace the question mark at the end of the third row? First row: 5 2 B 5 4 D 5; Second row: 1 8 H 1 3 A 3; Third row: 6 4 G 3 7 F ?”)
Replace A, B, D, F, G, H in the three rows by their respective positions in the alphabet list: viz.1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8 respectively. The numbers in the three rows will be 5225445, 1881313, 647376? On examination it is seen that the sum of the first two pairs of numbers in each row is the same. Similarly the sum of the last two pairs of numbers in the first two rows are same. 5 + 4 = 4 + 5; 1 + 3 = 3 + 1. The sum of the last two pair of numbers has to be the same. Hence third row will be 3 + 7 = 6 + ? Therefore ‘?‘ represents ‘4’. -- Hemalatha T, firstname.lastname@example.org
The third problem was: “Six consecutive car parking slot numbers are marked 16 06 68 88 ? 98. The question mark means a slot where a car’s already parked so you can’t see the number. What is it?”)
It is very simple. When we look at the numbers upside down, they become 86 ? 88 89 90 91. Hence the number is 87. -- Vishal R S, email@example.com
The numbers of the parking slots are viewed upside down. In fact, they are numbered sequentially, forming the series, 86, ? , 88, 89, 90, 91 and the missing number, obviously, is 87. 87 is conveniently left out because all other numbers, except 87, give proper numbers when turned upside down. -- Balagopalan Nair K, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Among the first five who also got this little number right are: Saishankar Swaminathan, email@example.com; Krishna Ranjan, firstname.lastname@example.org; Bhoomika R S, email@example.com; Seshagiri Karry, firstname.lastname@example.org; Vivian Joseph, email@example.com.)
BUT GOOGLE THIS NOW
1. First consider the following five words: BASIC, ELF, HAITI, KILL, NO, TOFU. Now think which of the following six words properly completes the above sequence: QUARTER, QUICK, QUARREL, QUAINT, QUIBBLE, QUERY?
2. The nonsensical sentence that follows conceals an important form of communication and artistic expression. See if you can find out what it is: NOW YOU’RE SEEING TRUE MIRING CONUNDRUMS GLIMMER.
(Sharma is a scriptwriter and former editor of Science Today magazine. firstname.lastname@example.org)