Monthly Archives: February 2015

Puzzle #90: Bob’s Bookshelf

Bob has a bookshelf containing 25 textbooks, 11 picture books, and 6 foreign-language books. There is at least one book in each of the seven combinations of categories. If there are more foreign-language textbooks than picture textbooks and more picture textbooks than foreign-language picture books, how many books are on the bookshelf?

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <genew@telus.net>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #88 Solution: Snowballs

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Looking Up “the Obvious”

I recently had a problem with LaTeX which I use to create PDFs of my puzzles for publication by the local student newspaper. I wanted a multplication sign so I used “\times”. Unfortunately, the formatting of the puzzle was then messed up rather badly.

I was looking for something on the Web that would tell what I was supposed to do about it. I could not find anything. I did, however, see one LaTeX math expression enclosed in dollar signs. On a hunch, I tried that with my problem puzzle. It worked.

That little detail was not documented anywhere that I saw, and I stumbled on it by chance.

One problem there can be with documentation is the author leaving out needed details. And how does one look up such a problem?

Odd Language #86: A Well-Placed Comma

A write-up of a Kamloops lawyer (http://www.gibraltarlawgroup.com/swanson.html) has this sentence: “That was followed by his apprenticing and then serving as a pastor for the Free Methodist Church in such places as Ontario, Illinois, and finally Kamloops.”

The issue: If the comma after Illinois were not there, the sentence would be ambiguous, especially since there is an Ontario, IL.

Puzzle #89: Reading Binge

Over a recent, lazy weekend, Susan discovered a wonderful Web comic.  After reading through the latest month’s worth, she decided to start from the beginning to pick up the whole story.  The strip has been around for quite a while.  There is one strip each day, and at the end of the weekend, there were 1593 strips.  Over the weekend, Susan read up to strip 247.  She has decided to continue reading at the rate of one week’s worth of strips every day until she catches up.

How many days will it be before Susan catches up?

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <genew@telus.net>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #87 Solution: 2,0,1,5

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow