Monthly Archives: September 2017

Puzzle #225: Textbooks

You are taking five courses, one each in Accounting, Biology, Computing Science, English, and Japanese.

The cost of the Japanese textbook is twice that of the English textbook. The cost of the Computing Science textbook is twice that of the Accounting textbook. It is also four-thirds of the cost of the Japanese textbook. The Chemistry textbook cost ten dollars more than the average cost of the other four textbooks.

If each textbook cost an exact number of dollars and you spent somewhere in the $300’s, how much did each textbook cost, and what is the total?

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, September 27, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #223 Solution: A Walk in the Park

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Public Transit Planning II

Last week, I wrote about bad public transit planning by transit planners. The other side is not perfect either.

Some routes do not have many riders. The route that I take way east out of downtown to work does not have a lot of riders. The route does end at B.C. Wildlife Park so it is useful to have bus service so schoolkids can get there on fieldtrips. The number of passengers on a trip is usually in the single digits though.

Sometimes, it seems that transit service is wanted only so that people can tick a box. A couple years ago, I was on an inventory counting job in Quesnel, BC. The hotel where I was staying was in the outskirts of town. I decided to check out the hobby store downtown. I got a bus schedule and proceeded to arrange my trip. While riding, I noted that the route was not direct but did a lot of twisting and turning through residential neighbourhoods, and that no one was getting on. I asked the driver, and she said that she had been driving the route for about six months, and in that time, she had picked up only two passengers in the neighbourhoods.

If a route does not exist, there will not be passengers, but if there is a route, it still might not get used much. This is rather expensive.

B.C. Transit, in Vancouver, used to publish a newsletter called The Buzzer. I remember reading an article that mentioned some of the costs. Apparently, the system made money on the Broadway bus route (although it would not have if there were not other routes). Some of the other routes were quite expensive to run. The worst cost approximately $12.50 per passenger trip; this was when bus fare was about $1.25 or $1.50.

Public transit seems to be stuck between the two. I wish I saw a solution. Do you have any ideas?

Puzzle #224: Fauxgo

Fauxgo is a language that I have just made up. (“faux” is French for false, and “go” is Japanese for language.) Fauxgo has three letters: A, B, and C. Words must be formed using certain rules:

An A can not immediately follow a pair of the same letter (eliminating “CCA”).
An A can not be immediately followed by a B (eliminating “CAB”).
A B must be doubled (eliminating “CBA”).
A C can not immediately follow a pair of the same letter (eliminating “BBC”) or follow two A’s that are at any point previous in the word (eliminating “ACAC”).
Three of the same letter in a row is not permitted (eliminating “AAA”).

Given these rules, what is the longest possible word in Fauxgo?

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, September 20, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #222 Solution: Statistics Abuse

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow