Monthly Archives: November 2015

Puzzle #129: Dice

[If you are looking here from The Omega (Thompson Rivers University’s student newspaper) where these puzzles are also published, you may be wondering why this puzzle is different. I screwed up. When finalising my solution write-up, I realised that I had failed to follow one of the constraints. Enjoy the extra puzzle.]

The sum of two six-sided dice rolled together is used in many games for moves. Some games use other die roll combinations for various purposes. For many of these, it is fairly easy to figure out their distributions and averages. Some are a bit more difficult. Like this puzzle’s.

What is the average of best three out of four six-sided dice rolled together? (Roll four six-sided dice and take the sum of the three highest dice. If there is a tie for lowest value, just disregard only one of the dice.)

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, November 25, 2015 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #127 Solution: Hallowe’en Hellions

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Eating Elephants

Years ago, I came across the riddle “Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time.”

I am currently studying kanji (Japanese characters borrowed from Chinese). There is so much to learn, but by keeping at it one bite at a time, I am gradually getting somewhere. When I look at Japanese text, I find that I can make out somewhat more than I could before. There is no magical pont where it has all come clear; it is a gradual thing.

My blog is close to two-and-a-half years old. It has been difficult at times to come up with material, but gradually, I found it has become quite a bit easier.

So many things can be done by following this riddle’s advice. Do not let initial difficulties scare you off from doing something worthwhile.

Odd Language #125: Not Going Anywhere

From http://www.infoworld.com/article/2991754/technology-business/4-no-bull-takeaways-from-the-dellemcvmware-buyout.html, one heading is “1. VMware isn’t going anywhere — for now”.

The issue: The quote could mean that VMware is sticking around or that its business is flat (and that it could be in danger of *not* sticking around). Because the article is speculative of what is going to happen, I am not sure which meaning was meant.

Puzzle #128: Ages

Six friends are all of different ages. Alice is older than Bob. Catherine is younger than Don. Edgar is younger than Frida. Bob is younger than Frida. From youngest to oldest, the sexes alternate. The oldest person is male. What is the order of the friends from youngest to oldest?

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, November 18, 2015 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #126 Solution: Looking to the Future

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow