This tag is meant for questions about the mathematical principles behind games, riddles, or their possible solutions. If the answer is known to you please do not use this tag to "riddle" other users, but rather to ask about the correctness of a possible solution or ways to extend and improve an ...

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3
votes
1answer
67 views

What gambling/board game or real life thing can (surprisingly) be modelled as a linear programming problem?

So I've taken Linear Programming 101. I've read my textbook, took the test and all that, and - besides all the theory, the nice algebraic interpretations, etc - I've encountered a lot of textbook ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

Famous puzzle: Girl/Boy proportion problem (Sum of infinite serie)

Puzzle In a country in which people only want boys, every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is ...
2
votes
0answers
204 views

How to solve instant insanity puzzle with graphs.

So I have a 10 cube insanity puzzle, I constructed the graph (I'll post pc later) based on the colors the problem is that there is just way to many lines and nodes to see the solution. Is there any ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Numbers interpreted as sets and functions

In set theory numbers are defined as sets $$\emptyset,\{\emptyset\},\{\emptyset,\{\emptyset\}\},\{\emptyset,\{\emptyset\},\{\emptyset,\{\emptyset\}\}\},\dots$$ where $n+1=n\cup\{n\}$ and ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Maths question from an IQ test [duplicate]

It is possible that 25 is the correct answer since I guessed (educated guess) that and got a predication of 170 IQ (obviously not accurate) I saw that 63 + 25 = 88 and 16 + 9 = 25 but then ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Prove a length of 6 in a triangle diagram.

A puzzle: Three equilateral triangles of size 3, 4, and 7 touch at a corner. The other corners of the size 4 triangle are 3 away from a 3 corner, and 7 away from a 7 corner. How far apart are the ...
19
votes
2answers
423 views

Shortest possible unreachable shape

This is a follow up to Is every shape possible with a snake? . Imagine a 2d snake formed by drawing a horizontal line of length $n$. At integer points along its body, this snake can rotate its body ...
17
votes
2answers
492 views

Is it true that we can get zero for all $(x,y,z)\in\mathbb{N}^3$?

There are three distinct positive integers $x$, $y$, and $z$. We can choose two numbers $a,b\in\{x,y,z\}$, where $b\leq a$, then replace $b$ by $2b$ and replace $a$ by $a-b$. Is it true that there ...
5
votes
2answers
328 views

logical problem (how long did you walk?)

My wife is very kind, she always picks me up at work by car and drives me home. Today, I finished at work 30 minutes earlier! So I decided to walk home... on the way I met my wife. She was on her way ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

Expanding and understanding the poison pills riddle

You might have heard of the riddle that asks you to identify one fake pill (poisoned) among 12 pills of identical appearance, with the fake pill being either lighter or heavier than the others. You ...
0
votes
0answers
57 views

Systematic Gaussian elimination on a binary matrix?

I am trying to understand the mathematics behind the lights out puzzle (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/LightsOutPuzzle.html). There's a very helpful webpage at ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Improving Von Neumann's Unfair Coin Solution

If a cheat has altered a coin to prefer one side over another (a biased coin), the coin can still be used for fair results by changing the game slightly. John von Neumann gave the following ...
57
votes
0answers
6k views

“The Bachelorette Problem” (slightly adapted from Tao's Google+ account) [duplicate]

The following puzzle being very much recreational for me, I couldn't resist myself from sharing it with my fellow MSE user friends. Let's have a look at it. You are the most eligible bachelorette ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Are the odds one in a million? [closed]

This is a from a card game call Magic the Gathering And my question is regarding this video during a tournament match (best of 5). One in a million. You dont need watch the video I will explain the ...
15
votes
3answers
375 views

Is it possible to uniquely number faces of a hexagonal grid with consecutive numbers?

You have a grid of regular hexagons. The aim of the game is to have each hex contain the numbers 1-6 on its edges. Each edge must also be connected to another edge that has a value one higher and ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

The sum of $1+1+1+1+…$

My teacher recently showed me a rather weird result and I would like to know if he was just tricking me or if he was serious. He showed me that $g=1-1+1-1+1-...=\frac{1}{2}$ Then he said that ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Counting length of pyramid's sides puzzle

I have four blocks, the first block of length two, the second of length three, the third of length four and the fourth of length five, and I can arrange them in the following way: I am allowed to ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Hank and his old car

I'm sort of struggling with this riddle told to me by a friend: Hank owns a car. He has been taking good care of his car; In fact, he has been taking such good care of it that the age of Hank, ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Puzzle - Finding which balls are heavy

Puzzle my sister told me about, I've yet to solve it and im open to ideas. You have 6 balls, 2 red ones, 2 blue ones, and 2 green ones. Out of each pair, 1 is heavy and 1 is light (so overall you ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Express logic puzzles with proposition calculus notation

I’m trying to solve a logic puzzle that goes like this: The police have three suspects for the murder of Mr. Cooper: Mr. Smith, Mr. Jones, and Mr. Williams. Smith, Jones, and Williams each declare ...
0
votes
2answers
958 views

How do I find the maximum number of knights on a chess board?

I came across this problem and after thinking a lot I could not get any idea how to calculate it. Please suggest to me the right way to calculate it. Given a position where a knight is placed on ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

A limited composition of two unlimited functions on natural numbers?

Can someone give an example of two functions $f,g:\Bbb N\to \Bbb N$ such that $|\operatorname{Im}f|,|\operatorname{Im}\,g|\notin\Bbb N$, but such that $|\operatorname{Im}\,g\circ f|\in\Bbb N$?
4
votes
2answers
143 views

A puzzle about a sum and product of two numbers

The Gray Man wants to test The Hardy Boys. He says to them, "I've selected 2 positive integers, both bigger than one." He then proceeds to reveal their total and product to Frank and Joe ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

How do you calculate 45 min without any clock and sense of time? [duplicate]

There is two non uniform,unequal ropes. Every thing like weight,length etc are not same. But one thing is same. Each one is burned down within 1 hour. I'm giving you these two ropes and a candle just ...
2
votes
3answers
246 views

Simple puzzle from The Moscow Puzzles with wrong solution?

I have a book of mathematical puzzles -- The Moscow Puzzles, edited by Martin Gardner -- and I'm struggling to make sense of the following puzzle. It seems utterly simple, yet the solution given seems ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Progressive Matrices Puzzle

I have this mind puzzle which has bothered me the latest days. QUESTION: CHOOSE ANSWER: . I realize that there are relations (rotation and translation) between three pairs of the matrices (1-4, ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Rigorous proof for a maximization problem

Problem: Eight players entered a round-robin tennis tournament. At the end of the tournament, a player who wins $N$ sets will take home $N^2$ dollars. The entry fee is $17.50 per player. Why is this ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Can this be proven for any maze?

http://9gag.com/gag/aKgrQDj Is there a maze that can't be solved simply by following that strategy. Assumption Solution must exist Sticking your hand to the right or left don't solve that.
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the game 2048 always solveable?

Games got me on math. I always want to play best. I don't know how to answer my question. My question is : How to show that the game 2048 is (always) solvable>? Is there any method other than ...
4
votes
3answers
197 views

Variation on circular lake problem

An escaped prisoner finds himself in the middle of a SQUARE swimming pool. The guard that is chasing him is at one of the corners of the pool. The guard can run faster than the prisoner can swim. ...
10
votes
2answers
223 views

Gardner riddle on mathemagicians

A cute riddle (but maybe not so easy!) from Gardner: At a gathering of mathemagicians, the Grand Master and his 8 disciples are seated at a round table. The Grand Master will judge each of his ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

math in horseshoe puzzle

We know that Rubik's Cube is a good demonstration of group theory. Correspondingly, for the horseshoe puzzle as in the picture below, is there a math language for it? Does it demonstrate any math ...
7
votes
1answer
417 views

A gameshow logic puzzle

A friend posed this puzzle to me a few months ago, and it has tortured me ever since. The puzzle goes something like this: Suppose you're on a gameshow, and there are three doors: two doors have a ...
10
votes
1answer
261 views

Bidding Tic Tac Toe

In regular tic tac toe, both the players get alternate chances. This is a variant of that. Player $A$ has $\$x$ amount and player $B$ has $\$y$ amount as initial balance. Assume that $y>x$. Both ...
2
votes
0answers
71 views

A river crossing puzzle with relatively prime problem

I want to share a problem on a facebook group : https://www.facebook.com/groups/419858384791916/permalink/640398286071257/ 99 people, numbered 2 to 100, are all on one side of a river and wish to ...
2
votes
2answers
203 views

Solving Rubik's cube and other permutation puzzles

I've seen two questions on solving the Rubik's cube but none of the answers have given a complete solution using mainly mathematical techniques. Furthermore, I've not seen a good explanation of ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Three people want to personally meet each other as fast as possible: optimization problem.

Problem: Three people want to be all gathered at the same place, and they want it to happen as soon as possible. Where should they head to? P.S. Assume they all travel with the same speed. Think of ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

Problem about points on an equilateral triangle [duplicate]

Suppose that $A$, $B$, and $C$ are three points in a plane, such that $AB = AC = BC = 1$. At each point in time, $A$ is moving toward $B$, $B$ is moving toward $C$, and $C$ is moving towards $A$, all ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

100 prisoners and a lightbulb

100 prisoners are imprisoned in solitary cells. Each cell is windowless and soundproof. There's a central living room with one light bulb; the bulb is initially off. No prisoner can see the light bulb ...
0
votes
1answer
486 views

Proof by induction in a game with water balloons

Consider the following description of a game. There are $n$ people playing, one of whom leads the game. They are playing on a playing field with no obstacles. Everyone carries one water balloon. ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

Minimum number of moves in Chocolate Puzzle

I've seen this problem on an algorithms competition and although there is an explanation on the website, I couldn't understand it. The abridged problem statement is as follows: Suppose you have two ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Figuring out the amount of 'straight edge' pieces in a puzzle?

I was wondering if there was any set way to determine the number of 'straight edge' pieces in a puzzle, assuming the pieces are all in neat rows and columns? Does the ratio of edge pieces to middle ...
62
votes
13answers
20k views

Dividing 100% by 3 without any left

In mathematics, as far as I know, you can't divide 100% by 3 without having 0,1...% left. Imagine an apple which was cloned two times, so the other 2 are completely equal in 'quality'. The totality ...
22
votes
8answers
2k views

There is a subset of positive integers which no computer program can print

It's said that a computer program "prints" a set A ($A \subset \mathbb N$, positive integers.) if it prints every element in A in ascending order (Even if A is infinite.). For example, the program can ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

Number of valid NxN Takuzu Boards a.k.a 0h h1 (details inside)?

Takuzu a logic puzzle which has a NxN grid filled with zero's and one's following these rules: 1) Every row/column has equal number of 0's and 1's 2) No two rows/columns are same 3) No three ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

3 dimensional $6\times 6\times 6$ lit cube problem involving looking for a specific lit pattern and quantity of them.

Suppose we have a $6\times 6\times 6$ cube such that it has $216$ subcubes, each with a visible, discernible light in it. A random number generator is connected to the cube and it will choose ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Points on a sphere puzzler [closed]

For a perfect sphere that has $n$ random points on it's surface: is it possible to connect all the points on the surface with geodetic segments around the surface of the sphere such that each point ...
2
votes
1answer
189 views

Game between 2014 card players where everyone with at least 2 cards passes a card to each of his neighbors

2014 card players sit around a big table. One of the players begins with 2014 cards on his hand, and the other have none. The rules for the game are: Every minute shall every player, who ...
78
votes
10answers
8k views

Mathematician vs. Computer: A Game

A mathematician and a computer are playing a game: First, the mathematician chooses an integer from the range $2,...,1000$. Then, the computer chooses an integer uniformly at random from the same ...
0
votes
0answers
95 views

Algorithm to calculate powers

Is it possible to write an algorithm that uses only multiplication and addition to calculate $a^b$ where both a and b are real numbers?