Sunday, September 14, 2014

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 14, 2014): Calculator Geography

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Sep 14, 2014): Calculator Geography:
Q: If you punch 0-1-4-0 into a calculator, and turn it upside-down, you get the state OHIO. What numbers can you punch in a calculator, and turn upside-down, to get a state capital, a country and a country's capital?
It's easier to solve this puzzle than it is to provide hints. Just focus on the letters BEGHILOSZ.
A: BOISE (35108), BELIZE (321738) and OSLO (0750)

69 comments:

  1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g. via a chain of thought, or an internet search) before the deadline of Thursday at 3pm ET. If you know the answer, click the link and submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here.

    You may provide indirect hints to the answer to show you know it, but make sure they don't give the answer away. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the Thursday deadline. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. To check your answer, type the 3 words in alphabetical order, in UPPERCASE and without spaces into the following MD5 hash generator (lower box). The result will be: 99CFA983C863F04FE67666A0D8012F1E

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nifty keen! I wonder if there's a way to reverse-engineer the generator?

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. @Ruth,

      It's a one-way hash. That means the same hash could be generated for a different input, but it is very unlikely to have a hash "collision". You can't get back to the input from the hash value which makes them great for verifying information without giving it away. However, in researching MD5 a little more, it seems that SHA-2 is now the recommended hash algorithm.

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    4. Isn't that the mathematical technique Bill Clinton's vice president used in order to dance so gracefully?

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  3. I am unable to follow in his footsteps because 618 05 51 3215 3045 514 !

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  4. Not so hard this week - check a few lists and Bob's your uncle !

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  5. More upside-down alarm clocks. Oh well. I don’t need to check my answers – they’re all correct. One small thing, though. Evidently, the writer of this puzzle and Will Shortz are unaware that many newer calculators don’t display leading zeros.

    Chuck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just enter 0.something, eg. 0.123.

      Delete
  6. I didn't realize before this that 2 on the calculator was accepted as a Z. The others have a passing resembling to the letters, but that Z has a diagonal that a calculator cannot make. But, OK, if that's so, I can easily ring an answer up.

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  7. Actually there might be a 2nd unintended world capital out there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't see how. I just looked through the entire list of world capitals, and besides the one and only expected answer, there is only one capital that misses by only one letter!

      All others have at least two letters which are not amongst the set of {B, E, G, H, I, L, O, S or Z}.

      Delete
  8. I posed the following on last week's blog several hours ago:

    skydiveboy Sun Sep 14, 06:07:00 AM PDT

    Not only is this easy to solve, but 5151 is a much more difficult problem to solve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. 5151 is as much a moving target as that other group.

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Your link keeps saying "An error occurred, please try again later."

      This link shows what you were going for:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg9kSn3NRVk

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    2. I was wondering who would be first to mention 136 x 39103..

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    3. While we're talking about interesting numbers, there is always 1729, which does not spell anything in particular upside-down, but is the basis for a memorable story about the great mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1729_(number).

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  10. Keep your eyes on the prize, no matter how hot it gets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice clue, Leo. I like the way you connect the dots.

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  11. Boys and girls, you'll really rack up the frequent flyer miles traveling high and low between these three locales.

    But before you go, please bring appropriate clothing for every possible type of weather you encounter when making this journey.

    Also, dare I say it, at least one of these locales (I'm not going to say how many) has indirectly figured into at least one (again, I'm not going to say how many) previous challenges through the years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Boys - BOISE
      High and Low - OSLO
      Please - BELIZE

      Locale used previously: NORWAY, as part of WAYNE MANOR, Batman's residence, used in a challenge in the Fall of 2010

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  12. Topsy turvy factoring is different.
    bEZ, llZ, L, Z

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  13. I have a slight issue with “upside-down-2 = Z.” I’ve also a quibble, but less-so, with “upside-down-8 = B.” If you look at an inverted 8 it is not really a B unless you round off its northeast and southeast corners. OK, so then why can’t an inverted zero represent not only an O but also a D? And, inverted 9 looks a bit like an upper-case G, although who cares, we’ve already got inverted 6 as a lower-case g, and case doesn’t seem to matter much.

    (Blaine’s note this week about what letters are kosher was very helpful. Thanks Blaine. Glad you’re okay and back.)

    That nit picked, I still found the three answers this week, and found the puzzle somewhat enjoyable. The average number of digits in the three answers is respectable. And not having R, N, T, A, and U on one’s palette limit’s the majesty of any multi-lettered words one may paint.

    I then did, however, some 6N176006 to see how long a word/string of numbers I could find. There is the six-letter toponymic Greek 3751, of course (like canary or bikini), and the seven-letter Russian ballet academy.

    Others:
    What a minister often does at funerals or wakes (8 letters/numbers)
    Word describing paradise after it is paved (8 letters/numbers)
    Word often describing bachelors (8 letters/numbers)
    Word describing a bad marriage (9 letters/numbers)
    Word describing what Word Woman (aka Scientific Steph) does over on her excellent PEOTS blog.
    (10 letters/numbers)

    Then there is this semicolonned sentence which -- because “a,” “and,” “the,” “have,” “has,” and” and “are” etc. are verboten -- reads like a bad palindrome:
    .53045 3507 530804 5537637 ;53045 55377334 ,55373705 804 ,32135 530804 55373045

    Legoless… (55370637)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought the B came from an upside down 9, which on some digital alarm clocks and calculators looks like a lower case b.

      Or is that a capital offense?

      Just to add some fun, name a former capitol that fits the criteria. It is now in the US, but was never a state capitol.

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    2. Wouldn't that require a leiover?

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    3. Remember—Pineapples do not grow on Pine trees.

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    4. Izqb'j l yvlzy!
      XRL
      Why key KEY?
      Because I can, I guess.

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    5. sdb,
      ...or on Apple trees.

      Paul,
      Shore is. But death is that other b-word.
      Keep your key in the input box along with your text, then use your key to decode it. In the output box, take what has become of your key and duplicate it (that's what I always do when I need a spare) and bring a nice souvenir home for a lady-friend.

      LegoUmmaGumma

      Delete
  14. Z*gIILL*BBBg*OISZ*LIZg*EhOG*GS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In retrospect, the above may have been a tip-off to BOISE and BELIZE. Maybe I should have stuck with my earlier version:
      Z*gII-
      LL*BB-
      Bg*OI
      SZ*LI
      Zg*Eh
      OG*GS
      Dispensing with the nonsense:
      17.25, -88.77 Belmopan
      43.62, -116.20 Boise
      59.9, 10.68 Oslo

      (4615)

      Delete
  15. HAGGIS ALERT!!!

    Stock up now on haggis. If Scotland chooses to secede prices could soar.

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  16. State Capital – Boise – 35108
    Country – Belize – 321738
    Country Capital – Oslo -0750

    There should be an annual quota on upside-down alarm clock puzzles. My two cents.

    Chuck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As in you want more in that quota, Chuck?! ;-)

      WW, EE, MM, 33

      Delete
  17. 35108 = BOISE

    321738 = BELIZE

    0750 (0.750, for Chuck) = OSLO

    I am unable to follow in his footsteps because:
    ¡618 05 51 3215 3045 514

    HIS SHOE SIZE IS SO BIG!

    ReplyDelete
  18. > I just drove through the capital's state for the first time yesterday.

    From West Yellowstone, MT, through Idaho, to Jackson Hole, WY.

    ReplyDelete
  19. BELIZE OSLO BOISE

    We've been discussing turning letters around over at the 51st (!) posting of Partial Ellipsis of the Sun: TRUE NORTH

    ReplyDelete
  20. When benmar12001 posted on Sun Sep 14, at 10:31:00 AM PDT:

    Actually there might be a 2nd unintended world capital out there.

    I replied on Sun Sep 14, at 02:22:00 PM PDT:

    I don't see how. I just looked through the entire list of world capitals, and besides the one and only expected answer, there is only one capital that misses by only one letter!

    All others have at least two letters which are not amongst the set of {B, E, G, H, I, L, O, S or Z}.

    So what is the only one capital that misses by only one letter?

    Answer: SEOUL (South Korea) could be represented upside-down on a calculator were it not for the U.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Does that make U the Seoul survivor?

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    2. And I had replied that you were correct.

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    3. What about DILI capital of Timor-Leste

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    4. That was exactly what I was referring.

      Delete
  21. In my Monday 5:51 PM comment, I sought to find lengthy words that could be formed with inverted digital numbers.

    The six-letter toponymic Greek isle (3751) is Lesbos. The seven-letter Russian ballet academy is the Bolshoi.

    Others:
    What a minister often does at funerals or wakes (8 letters/numbers)
    ELEGIZES
    Word describing paradise after it is paved (8 letters/numbers)
    SOILLESS (“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” -- Joni Mitchell)
    Word often describing bachelors (8 letters/numbers)
    ELIGIBLE
    Word describing a bad marriage (9 letters/numbers)
    BLISSLESS
    Word describing what Word Woman (aka Scientific Steph) does over on her excellent PEOTS blog. (10 letters/numbers)
    GEOLOGIZES

    LegoElegizesSobs

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    Replies
    1. Lego, I awaited your 10-letter answer with baited breath. James Hutton geologized, I geologal. ;-)

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    2. With what did you bait your breath? I find worms gross; my friend, Kermit, says time's fun when you're having flies. Speaking of which, the guide on our Snake River raft trip decorated the sun visor in his van with dry flies and lures he's found snagged on driftwood on the river.

      Delete
  22. Here's another trick of Doctor Dementia to test your skills...

    Can you meet this challenge?

    Good example of a Brain Study: If you
    can read this OUT LOUD you have a strong mind. And better than that:
    Alzheimer's is a long long, way down the road before it ever gets
    anywhere near you.


    7H15 M3554G3


    53RV35 7O PR0V3


    H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N


    D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5!


    1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5!

    1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG

    17 WA5 H4RD BU7

    N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3

    Y0UR M1ND 1S

    R34D1NG 17

    4U70M471C4LLY

    W17H 0U7 3V3N

    7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17,

    B3 PROUD! 0NLY

    C3R741N P30PL3 C4N

    R3AD 7H15.

    PL3453 F0RW4RD 1F

    U C4N R34D 7H15.

    Only great minds can read this. This is weird, but interesting!

    If you can read this, you have a strange mind, too.
    Can you read this? Olny 55 people out of 100 can.

    I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg.
    The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at
    Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a
    word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer
    be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still
    raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseaethe huamn mnid deos not raed
    ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and
    I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! If you can raed this forward it.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting and amusing, sure, but I'd like to see the peer-reviewed, randomized-control study that proves any relation to reduced Alzheimer's risk.

      Delete
    2. ron,

      Thanks for posting. Enjoyable and fascinating.

      But I hvae a finleeg taht Bvnaaleliisnis wlil psas wtih fynilg crloos tihs elenexlct emalxpe of a biarn sduty. I sotnrlgy ssguegt taht most of you beogrlgs are on the bensusis end of the Blel Cvrue.

      LgeoLdmaba

      Delete
    3. Yes, thank you, ron, for this fun exercise. I had just returned from a climate change/tar sands demonstration at the Kanadian border at the Blaine Peace Arch and did not say it out loud, but read them both silently without any difficulty at all, and even much faster than I normally read text. Then I cooked and ate dinner and went back and read both aloud after mucho Portuguese wine without any difficulty again, but a bit slower than when I read them silently. I can't remember if I have that memory disease I forget the name of though.

      Delete
  23. Next week's challenge: Name a famous actor best known for tough-guy roles. The first five letters of his first name and the first four letters of his last name are the first five and four letters, respectively, in the first and last names of a famous author. Who is the actor, and who is the author?

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  24. Are we to take it that these letters remain in order during the transformation, or that they are free to wander within the outlined confines?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they remain in order and I already have the answer. Easier than I thought it would be.

      Delete
  25. The letters remain in the same order. Having failed to come up with a clever clue, I'll simply say the author came from a famous family - the actor from a much larger one.

    ReplyDelete
  26. the answer to this week's puzzleis probably not Alexander Pope

    ReplyDelete
  27. When you solve it, you might ask yourself for whom the bell told.

    ReplyDelete