Author Archives: Gene Wirchenko

About Gene Wirchenko

I am a computer programmer / systems analyst living in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. I am naturally analytical and like figuring things out. I like reading (mainly science fiction and fantasy) and gaming (mainly board and card games, some RPG).

Puzzle #203: Holding Marbles

Fiona, Len, and Nancy are each holding two marbles, one in each hand. The marbles are red, green, and blue, and there are two of each colour. Fiona, Len, and Nancy are standing from left to right in that order. None of them are holding marbles of the same colour, nor are two marbles of the same colour in adjacent hands.

Fiona is holding a blue and a green marble. Len is holding a red marble in his right hand. Nancy is not holding a green marble in her right hand.

If not everyone is holding a marble in his/her left hand whose colour name comes before in the alphabet the colour name of the marble in her/her right hand, who is holding which marbles in which hands?

(Never mind whether left means the person’s left or on your left, etc. Who needs that confusion? You are looking at them from behind so these are the same.)

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, April 26, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #201 Solution: Hotdogs

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Overkill

Are you concerned about overdoing it? Are you worried that in doing some thing that you will go too far?

Relax.

Just apply Gene’s Law of Overkill.

I came up with this recently: “Gene’s Law of Overkill: First, you have to kill. Only then can you overdo it.”

So relax and just kill something[1][2].

[1] Please confine your killing to things like problems, personal bests, etc.

[2] This law has not been tested rigorously. If you end up in the Big House (a.k.a. pokey, jail, slammer, etc.) as a result, please let me know so I can make a revision[3].

[3] And please indicate whether you want partial credit for the revision.

Odd Language #199: Look Over This!

RISKS 30.22 has an interesting April Fools item (which came from EFFector Vol. 30, No. 7 of April 1, 2017).

Apparently, politicians have not been keeping tabs on the intelligence community in the last several years because of a confusion over the words “oversight” and “overlook”.

The issue: The intended meaning of “oversight” in this context is monitoring; “overlook” means failing to see or notice. Since an oversight can also be a case of overlooking, there is a definite possibility for confusion of the two words. Not that the politicos should be able to use this in real life.

Puzzle #202: Weird Coins

You have a bunch of three types of coins denominated in dinero. Ashuls are worth 7 dinero each, bindins are worth 5 dinero each, and culkies are worth 11 dinero each.

If you wanted to pay for something exactly in dinero and getting change is not allowed, what is the largest amount in dinero that you can not express with some combination of ashuls, bindins, and culkies?

(For example, 21 dinero can be expressed as 3 ashuls or 2 bindins and 1 culkie, but 8 dinero can not be expressed in terms of the three coin values.)

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, April 19, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #200 Solution: Whodunnit?

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Layered Both

Last year, I posted about that awkward season of the year: both.

My apologies for whining incompletely. I should have considered layering.

Both season means that I have to, say, wear a sweater and might have to wear a jacket or overcoat as well. Or maybe not. Where then do I put it? Dragging on the ground is too likely to be an answer.

All too often it seems that if I have the overcoat, I do not need it, and if I do not, I do.

And somehow appropriately (in my area at least), there are two (or more) both seasons per year: between winter and spring and between fall and winter.

Odd Language #198: Just Great

An old chestnut: Someone learning English asks for help from his teacher. “I understand this: ‘Mary is great with child.’, but what does ‘Mr. Smith is great with children.’ mean?”

The issue: Languages have many exceptions which they use to ambush you.

Puzzle #201: Hotdogs

It is time to start your training for summer hotdog eating. Off you go to the local convenience store to work your way through the many combinations of toppings. LCS has the following toppings: mustard, relish, ketchup, chili, cheese, onion, garlic, and peppers.

If you can only have up to two of mustard, relish, and ketchup and at most one of onion, garlic, and peppers, how many different hotdog topping combos can you create?

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, April 12, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #199 Solution: Siblings

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