Monthly Archives: January 2017

Puzzle #190: More Alphabet Sets

Each letter of the alphabet has been put into one of three sets.

Set 1: A, F, H, K, M, N, P, Q, R, T, X, Y
Set 2: B, D, O
Set 3: C, E, G, I, J, L, S, U, V, W, Z

What is the rule for which set a letter goes into?

Hint: The solution has to do with the shape of the letter. Depending on the exact shape of I that you consider, I might belong in set 1 instead.

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, January 25, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #188 Solution: 2, 0, 1, 7

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Corner Cases

Have you ever examined a situation and wished that people had considered the unusual cases just a bit more?

Look at this week’s Odd Language. Normally, whether to put commas inside or outside of quotation marks makes little difference, but in the case shown, inside makes it less clear. It would have been even worse if some of the names included nicknames (Gene “the Nitpicker” Wirchenko?).

Something that works 99.9+% of the time can still blow up. Electrical power does go out occasionally. People do get hit by lightning.

Then what do you do?

Odd Language #186: Weird List

I have been reading Heinlein’s Expanded Universe. One sentence (on page 377) is ‘I happen to be personally aware of and can vouch for the scientific training of Sprague de Camp, George O. Smith, “John Taine,” John W. Campbell, Jr., “Philip Latham,” Will Jenkins, Jack Williamson, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, E. E. Smith, Philip Wylie, Olaf Stapledon, H. G. Wells, Damon Knight, Harry Stine, and “J. J. Coupling.”‘

The issue: Do you put commas inside of quotation marks or outside? I prefer outside, but inside is common in Canada and the U.S.A. I typed in the sentence as it appears in the book, and the pseudonyms being quoted makes the list somewhat difficult to read. What exactly are the list items?

Puzzle #189: Yet More Marbles

You have some marbles, each of one colour of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.

The total number of marbles is not evenly divisible by 4.

At least three of the marble colours have the same number of marbles as letters in the colour name.

The number of blue marbles plus the number of violet marbles is not equal to the number of red marbles plus the number of yellow marbles.

You have fewer red than green marbles, fewer yellow than blue, more orange than blue, more green than violet.

The number of marbles of each colour is the same as that of another colour.

How marbles are there of each colour?

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, January 11, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #187 Solution: Exact Change

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow