Puzzles

Tossing and Turning

Butler University mathematician Jerry Farrell has telekinesis. Here’s a demonstration. Toss a coin and enter the result (HEAD or TAIL) as 1 Across in the grid below. Then solve the rest of the puzzle:

farrell puzzle

Across                                   Down

1 Your coin shows a ______               1 Half a laugh
5 Wagner's earth goddess                 2 Station terminus?
6 Word with one or green                 3 Dec follower?
                                         4 Certain male
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Cover Story

On the floor of a room of area 5, you place 9 rugs. Each is an arbitrary shape but has area 1. Prove that there are two rugs that overlap by at least 1/9.

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Black and White

speckmann chess problem

By W. Speckmann, 1973. White to mate in two moves.

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Puzzling Lines

In his 1943 book The Life of Johnny Reb, Emory University historian Bell Wiley collects misspellings found in the letters of Confederate soldiers. Can you decipher these words?

  1. agetent
  2. bregad
  3. cerce
  4. crawsed
  5. furteege
  6. orpital
  7. perperce
  8. porchun
  9. regislatury
  10. ridgement

Bonus: What does A brim ham lillkern mean?

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A Chess Maze

wurzburg chess puzzle

By O. Wurzburg, 1919. If Black does not move at all, in how few moves can the white king reach f4? White can move only his king; as in regular play, it can capture enemy pieces but cannot enter check.

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Quick Thinking

Some “ridiculous questions” from Martin Gardner:

1. A convex regular polyhedron can stand stably on any face, because its center of gravity is at the center. It’s easy to construct an irregular polyhedron that’s unstable on certain faces, so that it topples over. Is it possible to make a model of an irregular polyhedron that’s unstable on every face?

2. The center of a regular tetrahedron lies in the same plane with any two of its corner points. Is this also true of all irregular tetrahedrons?

3. An equilateral triangle and a regular hexagon have perimeters of the same length. If the area of the triangle is 2 square units, what is the area of the hexagon?

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What’s the Angle?

what's the angle puzzle

AB = XY. Find z°.

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More Fun

If the proportion of blonds among blue-eyed people is greater than among the population as a whole, is it also true that the proportion of blue-eyed people among blonds is greater than among the population as a whole?

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Earnings Report

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Meltsner_study_for_Ohio.jpg

My employer has nine workers. The nine of us want to determine what our average salary is, but none of us wants to divulge his own salary. Can we find the average without doing so?

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Black and White

von meyenfeldt chess puzzle

A poser by F.H. von Meyenfeldt, 1967. What move must Black play to enable a forced mate in two by White?

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