Monthly Archives: June 2016

Puzzle #160: Oops!

Recently, I made an error in the solution for a weekly puzzle. Since it is possible to create a puzzle from just about any premise, I am going to use that!

Suppose that, for each puzzle, there is a 99% chance that I have a correct solution. In a ten-week period, I might make no errors at all, and it is doubtful that I will make as many as three.

What is the probability (to the nearest tenth of one percent) that I will make an error in the solution for exactly one or two of the puzzles in a ten-week period?

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, June 29, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #158 Solution: Unfashion

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

A Dose of Simplicity

Gochapon are vending machines that dispense items in capsules. They are used heavily in Japan, and there are stores with banks of these machines.

In Father and son dissect a gachapon capsule toy machine to show us its magical insides【Video】/, a father and his son go to a gachapon store and see how they work.

They take one apart, and show that the mechanism is very simple. With a simple slider, one can set the price on the machine to 100, 200, 300, 400, or 500 yen.

In our computerised world, it is good to have reminders that not everything has to be computerised to be flexible.

Odd Language #156: Used To

Piers Anthony’s Visual Guide to Xanth, by Piers Anthony and Jody Lynn Nye, p. 168: “fast overland snail: A gastropod that can move faster than most birds can fly. Used to transport messages from one end of Xanth to the other.”

The issue: Does “[u]sed to” mean that it is put to the use of transport or that it formerly did transporting?

Puzzle #159: The Insurance Office

A small insurance office has a manager, receptionist, and two insurance salespeople. They are named Alex, Chris, George, and Lee. Given the clues below, determine each person’s sex and the jobs each person holds.

1) Lee is not a relative.
2) The receptionist is the manager’s niece.
3) One insurance salesperson is an uncle of the receptionist.
4) George is very much a hands-on manager.
5) Chris is not the receptionist.
6) The manager has more seniority than any other woman there.
7) The insurance salespeople are of different sexes.

Warning: You can not assume the sex of anyone from the names.

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, June 22, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #157 Solution: Dogged

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Not the Big Time

No, I have not made the big time yet.

I recently received one of those calls. After the initial hellos, it went about like this:
Caller: “I’m calling you from Windows technical department.” (That wording and in an Indian accent.)
Me: “Wow! I’ve finally received one of these scam calls. Bye bye.”
and I hung up.

Microsoft does not make calls like this. It is a scam to get you to put malware on your computer. Can you hang up as quickly as I did? You should.

Odd Language #155: Checking

From a post in USENET’s comp.databases.theory: “There is nothing resembling a CHECK constraint in SQL.”

The issue: This could be read as that SQL has nothing resembling a CHECK constraint. Actually, SQL does have CHECK constraints. SQL was being compared to something else, and that something else has nothing resembling a CHECK constraint. It was:
(There is nothing resembling a CHECK constraint) in SQL.
vs.
There is nothing resembling (a CHECK constraint in SQL).
with the second reading being the correct one.

Puzzle #158: Unfashion

George has plenty of clothes, but if something fits well, he buys a lot of it. He has only four types of shirts (white, pink, green, brown), three types of pants (black, brown, blue), and two types of shoes (white, black).

George’s idea of fashion is similarly limited. His rule is that he will not wear two items of the same colour.

How many different combinations of shirt-pants-shoes are part of the George Look?

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, June 15, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #156 Solution: Cheap, Digital LEDs

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow