Monthly Archives: July 2016

Puzzle #164: Entertaining the Cat

Your cat, Empress, can be kept entertained by a mouse for 15 minutes, by catnip for 30 minutes, and by a guinea pig for 1 1/2 hours. Humans are just so boring, and besides, one requires staff. Empress has a grueling daily schedule of 18 hours sleep, 3 hours grooming, and 1/2 hour eating. The remainder of the day is for entertainment. A mouse costs $1, a dose of catnip costs $3, and a guinea pig costs $15; these rates are per use. The animals are stuffed toys, but Empress is rather hard on her toys.

In a given day, you can not have the same entertainment twice in a row or more than twice, and you must spend over $20 (unless you really did not like those curtains). Leftover entertainment time is not allowed.

How many possible entertainment programs are there for Empress if you want to keep your curtains?

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, July 27, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #162 Solution: Swimsuit Issue

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Irony

While I am not a goth per se, I do enjoy some of the darkness. One blog that I follow is Gothic Charm School. A recent post had the Lady of the Manners somewhat puzzled as to how to help someone. In this case, the person asking for help is blind. Her letter concluded with “It’s a stupid irony, when you stop and think about it. The people in the world who actually understand the true meaning of perpetual darkness are isolated from dabbling in a culture that revolves around it.”

And I have to state that I do not understand her situation very well. I know what the word “blind” means, but I do not appreciate it very well. Consequently, I am at a loss to suggest very much.

Considering that I work in a field that requires mental flexibility, that is another irony.

Puzzle #163: The Robber

One game that I really enjoy is The Settlers of Catan. It is a game where one collects and trades resources. It would be too easy if one could just simply collect resources and wait for just the right combination. Each turn, two six-sided dice are rolled and resources are generated, except on a seven, when the robber shows up, and if you have too many resource cards, you lose one-half of them.

Settlers is a three- or four- player game.

To the nearest one-tenth of a percent, what is the probability that a seven will be rolled during a complete round (everyone getting a turn) if there are three players? If there are four?

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, July 20, 2016 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #161 Solution: For the Birds

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow