Monthly Archives: March 2016

Puzzle #147: Age Problem

Six friends (Kathy, Lee, Mike, Nellie, Owen, and Pete) are all different ages. All of the females are younger than all of the males with one-syllable names. Owen is either younger or older than exactly two others. Pete is older than exactly two more people than Kathy is older than. Lee is the youngest. Mike is the oldest. 1) Arrange their names in order from youngest to oldest. 2) What sex is Lee?

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, March 30, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #145 Solution: More Marbles

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Odd Language #143: What Exhibition?

From an alt.folklore.computers post on work dress code: “Next, in software development, dress was anything that covers up the naughty bits, except when customers came in for meetings or we were at exhibitions.”

The issue: What kind of exhibition? Dress is not specified for meetings or exhibitions so it appears that dress then is not “anything that covers up the naughty bits”. It could be corrected with, say, “… except for suit and tie or similar for when customers …”.

Puzzle #146: Alphabet Split

The letters of the alphabet have been divided into three sets. Each letter is in only one set. Determine the membership rule for each set.

{A, C, E, F, H, J, L, P, U}
{B, D, G, I, O, R, S, Y, Z}
{K, M, N, Q, T, V, W, X}

This puzzle is based on the form of capital letters. It is possible to argue the sets should be a bit different. If you come up with an alternative split that is close, if you explain the differences clearly, it will be counted as correct.

Hint: This particular puzzle is based on trying to make the letters fit into an everyday form that is not usually used for displaying letters.

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, March 23, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #144 Solution: Leftover Candy

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Disorder That Another Does Not See

Last week, I wrote Order that One Does Not See. Now, for another side.

If you work in a technical area, it can be very difficult explaining why things are taking as long as they do. It can be apparently obvious that all you have to do is [Insert trivial thing here.], so why are you taking so long?

I found that with some recent programming work. I was having to unravel some somewhat messy programming that someone else had written that was not documented very well and that was in an area I do not know very well yet. Not surprisingly, it was slow slogging. Fortunately, I was given something else as a priority where I was able to get some results fast. I did not have to worry much about the other parts, so it was much easier.

But try explaining why something is taking so long. After all, your explanation is about what someone trying to pull a fast one would use, and how is the non-technical person to tell whether you are the good guy or the bad guy?

Non-technical folk, a technical area might not be nearly as simple as it appears. Please cut us some slack.

Odd Language #142: Going Against

Driving against rush hour sounds so efforty.

The issue: I was driving in the Lower Mainland (Vancouver, BC and surrounds) recently. We were concerned about the time it would take to get to our destination. One of my co-workers observed that, in our morning drive, we would be going against rush hour. I was amused as going against the flow meant we could go faster.

Puzzle #145: More Marbles

You have under 100 marbles, each being one colour of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The number of each colour of marble is prime and unique. Additionally, no two marble counts are adjacent primes. (If there are, say, 7 of one colour, there can not be 5 or 11 of any other colour since those are the primes adjacent to 7.) The number of orange marbles plus green marbles plus blue marbles is equal to one more than the total number of the other three colours.

If the number of yellow marbles and the number of violet marbles are both greater than the number of green marbles, and the number of blue marbles is less than both the number of orange marbles and the number of violet marbles, how marbles are there of each of the six colours?

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, March 16, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #143 Solution: Murder!

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow