Monthly Archives: December 2017

Puzzle #238: Puzzle Errors

Somehow, last week’s puzzle did not appear in Kamloops This Week; an older puzzle appeared instead. In any given week, what are the chances of an error?

The KTW staff might err, or I might err. Let us assume that 80% of the time, the editor (Christopher Foulds) passes along my submission and makes sure it is understood. In this case, there is a 0.05% chance that an error will be made. The other 20% of the time, he is busy on breaking news and simply passes my submission along in which case, there is a 0.2% chance of an error. With me, there is a greater risk, say 0.3%, that I will make an error. To the nearest 0.1%, what is the chance that, any given week, a correct puzzle will appear correctly?

[Note: These chances for error are probably quite a bit higher than reality, but what would be the fun in an answer of 100.0% or even 99.9%?]

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

Political Football

Back in the 1970’s, the British Columbia provincial government took automobile insurance away from private companies. Since then, one has to buy auto insurance from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

ICBC makes money, and governments spend it like water. Consequently, ICBC gets raided to balance the budget.

I recently got a car. It cost me $1484 to insure it for a year. I thought that was somewhat pricey. When a co-worker mentioned that it would cost about $1000 less to insure it in Alberta, the word rip-off occurred to me.

To add insult to injury, a 15% price increase was scheduled to take effect around now so I just missed even worse!

Odd Language #234: “was” or Not

Kamloops This Week, 2017-12-05 edition has a front-page headline of “Council asked to crack down on pot stores”.

The issue: The issue of stores selling marijuana prior to its planned legalisation in 2018 is a hot issue in Kamloops. So is that Council asked someone or someones, say, staff, to crack down, or is it that Council was asked to crack down? Since newspaper headlines often omit forms of “to be” for shortness, it is unclear. It is the former.

Puzzle #237: Number Categories 2

The numbers two and six have a certain property. The numbers zero, one, three, four, five, seven, eight, and nine do not have this property. What is this property? [Hint: It has to do with the English spelling of each of the words.]

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

Puzzle #235 Solution: Marbles

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow