Friday, October 27, 2006

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 29): And Now the President Will Sing...

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 29): And Now the President Will Sing...:
Q: Name a famous American singer, one who's living. Six letters in the first name, six letters in the last. Write out this name from left to right. Cross out six consecutive letters from inside the name, leaving the start and end intact. The result will be the six-letter last name of a U.S. president. Name the singer and the president.
This one is really easy. All you need to do is get a list of presidents and find the ones with 6-letter last names (there are only 9).

Edit: So did you get the correct answer?
A: WIL(LIE NEL)SON --> Woodrow WILSON

Monday, October 23, 2006

Need help solving the FoxTrot Su-Dork-U?

A week ago Sunday (10/15), the FoxTrot comic strip featured a Sudorku where the grid included various math equations (hence the Dork reference) in place of the usual starting digits.

It's pretty straightforward once you get the starting digits. For those that need some help, here are some clues:

  • (1/3)^-1 is the reciprocal, namely (3/1)^1 or just 3


  • For all the square roots, obviously only take the positive root


  • d/dx 3x means take the derivative. In general d/dx ax^n = nax^(n-1). So you get 1*3*x^0 or just 3


  • For the integral from 1 to 2, you do the reverse. x^2 becomes x^3/3. Taking this from 1 to 2 results in (2^3)/3 - (1^3)/3. That gives you 7/3. But it is multiplied by 3 to get you 7.


  • 3! means factorial or multiplying all the numbers from 3 down to 1 (3*2*1) or 6.


  • The sum of k from k=1 to 3, is just 1+2+3 = 6


  • The log10(10) means that 10^x = 10. It's essentially the number of zeroes after the 1.


  • 0101 is binary (base 2). This is 0*8 + 1*4 + 0*2 + 1*1 = 5


  • By the Pythagorean theorem a^2 + b^2 = c^2. Some common Pythagorean triples are 3-4-5 and 5-12-13


  • -(i^2). In complex numbers, i represents the square root of -1. So this is just -(-1) or 1.


  • FF-F8 is a hexidecimal equation. In hex, A-F represent 10 through 15. So FF = 15*16 + 15 and F8 = 15*16 + 8. The difference is 7.


  • sin(pi/2 radians) is the same as sin(90 degrees) = 1



  • I'll post the solution in a later post...

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 22): A Politician's Name is Synonymous with...

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 22): A Politician's Name is Synonymous with...
    Q: Name a well-known 20th century political figure, now deceased, with a two-syllable last name. The word spelled by the first syllable is a synonym of the word spelled by the second syllable backward. Who is this famous person?
    I have no clues this time, not a one. But you will recognize the person.

    Edit: Time to reveal who the person is. Remember, I gave you *no* clues!
    A: Richard NIXON --> NIX and NO.

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 15): Chained Sentences

    NPR Sunday Puzzle (Oct 15): Chained Sentences:
    Q: The challenge is a special challenge called, 'Chained Sentences.' The object is to write a sentence or other bit of writing in which the last two letters of each word are the first two letters of the next.
    For example: Give veteran Angela Lansbury rye yeast. Or, the heroic iconoclast stops psychological allusions.
    Well, I can't give you *the* answer since there are lots of possible answers. I will just give you my submission and you can judge it against what is announced on the air on Sunday. I think it has pretty good syntax and a reasonable length.
    A: Despite technological alternatives espoused, Edith, the head administrator, ordered education online, neglectful ultimate telecommunication onus usurious.