Archive for the 'Conundrum' Category

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Conundrum: An Eventful 52

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

The following recap of 2013 has been redacted by overzealous Internet censors! Can you fill in the blanks to restore our memories of the year?

Here’s the catch: all of the missing words are in alphabetical order. Enjoy!

Was it only 52 weeks __(01)__ that we celebrated the arrival of 2013? A lot has happened since then. __(02)__ __(03)__ was __(04)__ from the same network as Mr. __(05)__ later would be. The __(06)__ story of the past 365 days might be that terrible __(07)__ in __(08)__. The __(09)__ of a mayoral __(10)__ ended when he was revealed to be using the name __(11)__ __(12)__. This may have been the most __(13)__ incident of 2013, unless you wish to give that __(14)__ honor to the family of __(15)__ __(16)__, whose __(17)__ member __(18)__ many by __(19)__ his more __(20)__ views, which many felt went too __(21)__. At the movies, the latest __(22)__ & __(23)__ film had a __(24)__ showing at the box office, though it did not __(25)__ as much __(26)__ as the latest __(27)__ __(28)__ film. In music, the artist born __(29)__ __(30)__ released a second LP with that name. Internationally, __(31)__ __(32)__ was removed from power, while domestically, we fought __(33)__ over __(34)__, the __(35)__ signature __(36)__. The __(37)__ __(38)__ it fiercely, and the __(39)__ itself certainly had some __(40)__ spots. In fact, the worst __(41)__ of 2013 may have been the __(42)__ it triggered, though just as __(43)__ was when Mr. __(44)__ __(45)__ out about the government’s __(46)__ on Americans as part of a secret __(47)__ program. In sports, we once again saw that nobody could __(48)__ from the __(49)__ like __(50)__ __(51)__. All in all, it was an eventful __(52)__.

Conundrum: Pic Tac Toe VII

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Pic Tac Toe makes its return with a special political edition.

In a “Pic Tac Toe” puzzle, there are nine pictures in a three-by-three grid, like Tic-Tac-Toe. In each row, column, and diagonal, there is a common theme that unites the three pictures. The challenge is to find the eight themes.

You can click on each image to see a larger version:



Please post whatever you come up with in the comments section.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: Puzzle solved by Bronx Richie. See comments for all correct themes.

Conundrum: Prospero’s Books

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Jack Prospero buys individual hard-bound volumes of 31 different Shakespeare plays and an empty six-shelf bookcase to put them in.

He puts 3 plays each on the first and second shelves. He puts 5 plays each on the third and fourth shelves. He puts 7 plays on the fifth shelf, and 8 plays on the sixth shelf.

Within each shelf, the plays are in alphabetical order. The titles are exactly as they appear on this list. Ignoring any leading “The” or “A” articles, they are alphabetized by these exact titles.

And, as it turns out, the plays within each shelf are also in exactly the same order as they appear throughout that very same list!

One of the six shelves has only plays with the letter “F” somewhere in the title. A different shelf has no plays with any punctuation marks in the title. One shelf has more than half of its plays containing the word “King” in the title. Pairs of shelves with the same number of books in each are ordered alphabetically by first title.

Can you list the plays as they appear on each shelf?

UPDATE: Puzzle solved by ArtVark. See comments for answer.

Conundrum: Russian Roulette

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

In Russian Roulette, a six-chambered revolver is loaded with one round, the cylinder is spun to place the round in a random position, and participants take turns pointing the gun to their heads and pulling the trigger until one player loses.

Imagine you are playing this game (for whatever reason) with one other person, but do not wish to die.

1. Assume there is one round and the cylinder is spun only once, at the beginning of the game. Is it better to go first or second?

2. Assume there is one round and the cylinder is spun after each player’s turn. Is it better to go first or second?

3. Assume there are two rounds in random position and the cylinder is spun only once, at the beginning of the game. Is it better to go first or second?

4. Assume there are two rounds in random position. The first player shoots an empty chamber. You have the option of shooting the gun as is, or spinning the cylinder first. Which do you choose?

5. Assume there are two rounds in a random position – but you are told that the two rounds are in consecutive chambers. The first player shoots an empty chamber. You have the option of shooting the gun as is, or spinning the cylinder first. Which do you choose?

6. Assume there are two rounds in a random position – but you are told that the two rounds are in consecutive chambers. The cylinder is spun only once, at the beginning of the game. Is it better to go first or second?

These are pure probability questions, for entertainment purposes only. Shakespeare Teacher in no way condones the use of firearms in this manner.

Conundrum: Alphagram

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

What number, when written as a word in English, has all of its letters in alphabetical order?

For example, “six” doesn’t work, because the letter S comes before the letter I in the word, but S comes after I in the alphabet.

The word “begin” has all five of its letters in alphabetical order, but, of course, it is not a number.

Can you find the only number that meets this requirement?

UPDATE: Number identified by Jeff. See comments for answer.

Conundrum: Pic Tac Toe VI

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Even though this puzzle is still active, I thought it might be fun to return to a simpler time.

In a “Pic Tac Toe” puzzle, there are nine pictures in a three-by-three grid, like Tic-Tac-Toe. In each row, column, and diagonal, there is a common theme that unites the three pictures. The challenge is to find the eight themes.

You can click on each image to see a larger version:



Please post whatever you come up with in the comments section.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: See comments for correct themes provided by Asher (5) and Neel Mehta (3). Alternate theme provided by Asher.

Conundrum: The Big Picture II

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

In a normal “Pic Tac Toe” puzzle, there are nine pictures in a 3×3 grid, like Tic-Tac-Toe. In each of the three rows, three columns, and two diagonals, there is a common theme that unites the three pictures. The challenge is to find the eight themes.

In a “3D Pic Tac Toe” puzzle, there are 27 pictures in a 3×3×3 grid, like a Rubik’s Cube. In each of the nine rows, nine columns, nine pillars, eighteen lateral diagonals, and four cross-cube diagonals, there is a common theme that unites the three pictures. The challenge is to find the 49 themes.

A “Big Picture” puzzle is just like a “3D Pic Tac Toe” puzzle, except that each of the 49 themes will be a movie. Each of the three images in that theme will picture at least one actor who was in that movie.

Imagine stacking the three levels below on top of one another. For reference, and notation guidelines, check out my last Big Picture puzzle, including the comments. The rules here are identical to that puzzle.

Looking at that puzzle will also help identify the actors in Image B5; tragically underused in that puzzle, it now plays a more central role. Although many of the same actors appear in both puzzles, none of the 49 movies in the solution to this puzzle is the same as any of the 49 movies in the previous puzzle’s solution.

In Image B3, you will use the actors who voiced the animated characters shown, but none of the movies in the solution is animated, a documentary, or Robert Altman’s The Player.

You can click on each image to see a larger version:

Top Level – Level A



Middle Level – Level B



Bottom Level – Level C



Please post whatever you come up with in the comments section.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: See comments for correct themes provided by Lee (12) and Neel Mehta (20). The following 17 themes remain unsolved:

Rows

B1-B2-B3

Columns

A1-A4-A7
B1-B4-B7
B3-B6-B9

Pillars

A3-B3-C3
A4-B4-C4
A7-B7-C7

Lateral Diagonals

B3-B5-B7
A1-B2-C3
A3-B2-C1
A6-B5-C4
A7-B8-C9
A9-B8-C7
A1-B4-C7
A2-B5-C8
A8-B5-C2
A3-B6-C9

Conundrum: The Big Picture

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

This is a new 3D Pic Tac Toe puzzle. If you are unfamiliar with the format, you can check out my last 3D Pic Tac Toe for guidelines.

In this particular 3D Pic Tac Toe, each of the forty-nine themes will be a movie. Each of the three images in that theme will picture at least one actor who was in that movie.

In Image B1, you will use the actors who voiced the animated characters shown, but none of the forty-nine movies in the solution is animated, a documentary, or Robert Altman’s The Player. A few of the movies have not yet been released.

You can click on each image to see a larger version:

Top Level – Level A



Middle Level – Level B



Bottom Level – Level C



Please post whatever you come up with in the comments section.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: Correct themes provided by Neel Mehta (36), Evan (10), Ken (1), and Rodney G (2). Alternate theme suggested by Evan. See comments for discussion, or click here to skip right to the answers.

Conundrum: Pic Tac Toe in 3D, Part V

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Has it really been almost a year since we’ve had a 3D Pic Tac Toe?

In a normal “Pic Tac Toe” puzzle, there are nine pictures in a 3×3 grid, like Tic-Tac-Toe. In each of the three rows, three columns, and two diagonals, there is a common theme that unites the three pictures. The challenge is to find the eight themes.

In this “Pic Tac Toe” puzzle, however, there are twenty-seven pictures in a 3×3x3 grid, like a Rubik’s Cube. In each of the nine rows, nine columns, nine pillars, eighteen lateral diagonals, and four cross-cube diagonals, there is a common theme that unites the three pictures. The challenge is to find the forty-nine themes.

Imagine stacking the three levels below on top of one another. For reference, and notation guidelines, check out my last 3D Pic Tac Toe, including the comments. The rules here are identical to that puzzle.

You can click on each image to see a larger version:

Top Level – Level A



Middle Level – Level B



Bottom Level – Level C



Please post whatever you come up with in the comments section.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: Correct themes provided by Neel Mehta (37), ArtVark (4), and Billie (8). Alternate themes suggested by Billie (2), Neel Mehta (3), and Annalisa (1). See comments for all answers.

Conundrum: Shakespeare Invites

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Thanks for the good feedback about last week’s invite rhymes for the Best of the Bard and Henry VIII invites. The Shakespeare invites don’t usually involve poetry, but I do like to include a tagline to catch the interest of group members. Since I haven’t actually organized a reading in some time, I could at least share with you some of the taglines I’ve used. And since there are a few Shakespeare lovers who read this blog, I thought we could make a game out of it.

Can you identify the fifteen plays represented by the taglines below?

1. Bundle up, head on over, and join us as we catch winter by its tale. Hot cocoa will be served.

2. You like it! You really like it!

3. Everybody dies.

4. Come join us at our favorite Bavarian beerhouse as we travel to an austere statehouse, a rowdy whorehouse, and a dank jailhouse.

And then we’re gonna read a play.

5. Revenge is a beach.

6. Witches! Ghosts! Swordplay! Intrigue! Betrayal! Treachery! And the cold-blooded murder of a benefactor! Come join in the fun, as we read the play that dares not speak its name.

7. An afternoon to read. A lifetime to master.

8. We all know what happens when the children of rival families fall in love. But what happens when the rulers of rival countries fall in love?

9. What better way to spend an afternoon than with Rumor, Blunt, Shallow, Silence, Fang, Snare, Mouldy, Shadow, Wart, Feeble, Pistol, Quickly, and Doll?

10. Four hundred years before Seinfeld, there was a show about nothing.

11. We’re gonna party like it’s 1199.

12. Cast of Characters: a nobleman in disguise, an adulterer, a tyrant, an outcast, a wimp, a lackey, a fugitive, a bastard, a fool, two wicked sisters, and an elderly king, slowly losing his grasp on his humanity. Yes, we’re all in there somewhere.

13. And now for something completely different.

14. Bon Appetit!

15. Come join our monthly meeting of conspirators as we sink our daggers into Shakespeare’s classic tale of political intrigue and betrayal in Ancient Rome.

BONUS QUESTION: If readings are typically held on the first Sunday of each month, what play would have been the appropriate choice for January 2008?

Please post whatever you come up with in the comments section.

UPDATE: Correct plays provided by Asher (10) and Jeremy (6).