Puzzles, curiosities, brain teasers and other mathematics done "just for fun".

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3
votes
1answer
94 views

Can the wolves catch the hare?

Say you have 7 positions. 1 Hare and two Wolves in the following starting positions:    H o     o W   W  o   o The hare can take a step of size 2. The ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

switch the colour until only one black square is left

Consider a standard chess board (8 × 8 squares). In each move, you pick one row or one column and switch the colours of all 8 squares (from black to white or from white to black). Is it possible to do ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

How can the sniffer dog find the bag of drugs?

There are $n$ bags. In one of the bags are drugs. There is a dog that when given a group of bags, can tell whether there are drugs in the group or not. Each sniff counts as a "turn". What is the best ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Geometric Interpretation of Trigonometric Ratios

Is there a "good" geometric interpretation of trigonometric ratios for complex values? For example, we know that $$\cos(z)=\frac{e^{iz} + e^{-iz}}{2}$$ for all complex $z$ but is there a way to ...
0
votes
0answers
511 views

Calculating equal playing time in a soccer game with minimum number of changes.

I need to produce a formula that takes the following parameters: T = time of game in minutes p = number of players on field at one time s = number of substitute players Each of these is variable ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Cutting chocolate diagonally

Given is chocolate with rectangular pieces of size $a \times b$. If cut diagonally, how many pieces will it be split into? If knife passes exactly by co-catenating we assume there is no damage to ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

finding angle of spirals along with length of it's line at a certain point

I'm tying to calculate the angles (the angle between each line segment and a horizontal ray to the right blue) of spirals at a certain point along with figuring out the length of the other lines. see ...
7
votes
1answer
156 views

How Do I Find My Car

I have been discussing this problem with a coworker for a few days now and neither of us have made any headway on it. I would appreciate any help with a possible solution or maybe a suggestion of a ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

$n$th number of concatenating consecutive integers [duplicate]

How do I find the nth digit of concatenating consecutive integers as in: $123456789101112131415161718\cdots$ where the $10th$ digit = 1$ , $11$th$ = 0$, $12$th $= 1$, $13$th $= 1$ $\cdots$ How do I ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

Conditions for magic square.

So I've messing around with magic squares and something occured to me: Assume we have a nxn grid of numbers which respects the sum conditions of a magic square as in it has the appropriate column, ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

Recreational chess questions based on the knights

I basically know whether the following statements are true, but I would like to know how they are proved. A knight kept anywhere on an empty chess board can not reach its adjacent square in exactly ...
0
votes
3answers
67 views

An recreational question on analysis

Alice and Bob ran a marathon ($26.2$ miles) with Alice running at a uniform $8$ minutes per mile pace and Bob running erratically, but taking exactly $8$ minutes and $1$ second to complete each mile ...
6
votes
1answer
69 views

Inequality: $(a^3+3b^2+5)(b^3+3c^2+5)(c^3+3a^2+5) \ge 27(a+b+c)^3$

Proving inequality for positive real $a,b,c > 0$: $$ (a^3+3b^2+5)(b^3+3c^2+5)(c^3+3a^2+5) \ge 27(a+b+c)^3$$
1
vote
3answers
101 views

Olympic elementary combinatorics problem

This is a problem taken from the regional selections of the Italian mathematical olympiads: A knight is placed on the bottom left corner of a $ 3\times3 $ chess board. In how many ways can you move ...
6
votes
3answers
185 views

Secret Santa Perfect Loop problem

(n) people put their name in a hat. Each person picks a name out of the hat to buy a gift for. If a person picks out themselves they put the name back into the hat. If the last person can only ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Basic examples of probabilistic method

I'm looking for a truly basic example of probabilistic method proof which could be presented without a board (i.e. speaking only), that is, even moderately complicated calculations are not allowed. ...
14
votes
1answer
289 views

Infinite prisoners with hats — is choice really needed?

The problem is this (recently asked about here): A countably infinite number of prisoners, each with an unknown and randomly assigned red or blue hat line up single file line. Each prisoner faces ...
5
votes
2answers
170 views

Prisoners Problem

We have an infinite number of prisoners enumerated $\{1, 2, \dots\}$, and on each prisoner there is a hat of either blue or red color. The $n$th prisoner sees the hats of prisoners $\{n+1, n+2, ...
7
votes
4answers
179 views

If $(x+\sqrt{x^2 + 1})(y+\sqrt{y^2 + 1})=p$, find $x+y$

I was given this factorization problem and I tried many things, but couldn't solve it. Can someone, please, give me a hint? If $(x+\sqrt{x^2 + 1})(y+\sqrt{y^2 + 1})=p$, find $x+y$. Here $x, y$ ...
16
votes
0answers
299 views

Sheldon Cooper Primes

On the $73^{\text{rd}}$ episode of the Big Bang Theory, Dr. Sheldon Cooper, an astrophysicist portrayed by Jim Parsons $(1973 - \stackrel{\text{hopefully}}{2073})$ revealed his favorite number to be ...
6
votes
2answers
165 views

What is the coefficient of $x^{25}$ in $(x^3 + x + 1)^{10}$?

Here's what I have so far on the off chance that my thinking is correct... So using Vieta's the coefficient of the $x^{25}$ should be $-(r_1r_2r_3r_4r_5+r_1r_3r_4r_5r_6+...+r_6r_7r_8r_9r_{10})$ Since ...
1
vote
3answers
60 views

Combinatorial card game [duplicate]

There is a card game I've played before, where it goes as follows: You take a standard deck of cards, and shuffle them randomly. You then proceed by flipping each card and placing them down, ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Adding a factor to a ranking?

I have a ranking of 10 items from best to worst. Let's assume that the best is ranked 1 and the worst is ranked 10. Each item is ranked according to some rules that we cannot know so all we get is the ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

making /adjusting a perodic signal given an equation

I know if I have the sin wave equation Asin(2pif*t+phase) I can increase/decrease/adjust the periodic frequency of the signal by changing f. But if I have the following equation below how can I also ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

Puzzle of gold coins in the bag

At the end of Probability class, our professor gave us the following puzzle: There are 100 bags each with 100 coins, but only one of these bags has gold coins in it. The gold coin has weight of ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

sequence get number in sequence from place in sequence

There is a sequence $$X = {1,1,1,1,1,1,1 \dots 2,2,2,2,2,2,2,2 \dots,3,3,3,3,3,3 \dots 4,4,4,4,4,4,4 \dots (k-1),(k-1),k}$$ So there are $(k)$ 1's, $(k-1)$ 2's and $(k-2)$ 3's and so on. Is there ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Tree recursive question: number of nodes and relationship with children

Suppose a given tree T has n1 nodes that have 1 child, n2 nodes that have 2 children, . . . , nm nodes that have m children and no node has more than m children, how many nodes have NO child are there ...
2
votes
3answers
65 views

Fun problem. Apparently $\prod_i(1-p_i) \geq 1 - \sum_ip_i$ with $p_i \in [0,1]$ is always true. But how to demonstrate it?

so, I want to demonstrate the validity of the following inequality: $$ \prod_i(1-p_i) \geq 1 - \sum_ip_i $$ with $p_i \in [0,1]$, it is always true, which it seems to be always the case if you test ...
4
votes
2answers
335 views

how to solve triangles count puzzle

Below is a puzzle of counting triangles.How to solve such puzzle ? source: http://gpuzzles.com/mind-teasers/how-many-triangles-challenge/?source=stackmath
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Which Snake fields can be played infinitely long?

Snake is a very old game for phones. Its a 'real time game', that means you have to make decisions fast. The rules are: You are a snake. You can move to the left, to the right or go straight ahead. ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

How big can the deck get while still allowing this puzzle to be solvable?

Here's a classic puzzle (I think Martin Gardner talks about it somewhere, though I'm not sure exactly where): Alice and Bob are co-conspirators. Alice is dealt five random cards from a standard ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

Combinatorics type

I have this problem: From a set of numbers, such as $\{1,2,3,4,5,6\}$, a new set is created containing all the possible single pairs. ie. $\{12,13,14,15,16,\ldots\}$. Another set contains all the ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Let's say you're playing ping pong. For each point you win or lose, how would you update your probability of winning the next point?

Let's say I start out believing that my probability of winning the next point is in the interval $[0.25, 0.5]$ with 50% confidence. If I win the next point, what is an intuitive or "good" way to ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Birthday problem, the hard way(not using 1-unfavourable outcomes).

How would you go about calculating the chance of two people having the same birthday in a room of 3 people and a year consisting of 365 days?
5
votes
3answers
228 views

Is the square-wheeled tricycle at MoMath stable?

My question has to do with the geometry of the square-wheeled tricycle ride Pedal on the Petals at the National Musuem of Mathematics in New York (MoMath). The tricycles ride on a circular track ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

sum of integers of two exponents equal

For what values of n, such that $n \in \mathbb{Z}^+,$ does the sum of digits $(214)^n$ and $(2014)^n$ equal? So I found $1$, which is fairly obvious, there are supposed to be more?
0
votes
2answers
61 views

How do you solve “sum of ages” puzzles?

Ma and Pa and brother and me. The sum of our ages is eighty-three. Six times Pa’s age is seven times Ma’s age, and Ma’s age is three times my age. What is Pa’s age? What is Ma’s age? What is ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Placing bricks on Board

Situation: I have a $8\times 8$ board (sic), but two squares from it's one diagonal are removed (Black colored squares are removed) I'm given with plenty of(Rectangular) bricks having dimensions ...
0
votes
3answers
86 views

The fly flying between two trains

I know this question has been posted many times, but I don't understand it. Two trains travel on the same track towards each other, each going at a speed of 40 kph. They start out 180km apart. A fly ...
12
votes
1answer
275 views

Combinatorial prime problem

Update As Barry Cipra noted in the comments, a better framing of the question might be that I'm looking at absolute differences $|a−b|$ or totals $a+b$ for $5$-smooth numbers $a$ and $b$ satisfying ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Combinatorial prime puzzle

Is it true that no prime larger than $241$ can be made by either acting or subtracting $2$ coprime numbers made up out of the prime factors $2,3,$ and $5?$ Update Above example is clearly wrong, as ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

looking for specific recreational math puzzle book

Long time ago, I read a (recreational) math puzzle book and I remember was that in the pocket book there was a puzzle where the parents of a worm were deciding how big the blanket for their baby ...
3
votes
2answers
104 views

How to derive an proof for this infinite square root equation?

Here is continuous square root, namely: $\sqrt {1 + a \sqrt {1+b \sqrt {1+c\sqrt {1 +...}}}}$= any integer Find $a,b,c,d,e,f,...$ in general Uh, very interesting algebra pre-calculus problem, yet ...
2
votes
1answer
444 views

John von Neumann- Exercise about a Fly and two Trains [duplicate]

A fly is flying between two trains, each travelling towards each other on the same track at 30 km/h. The fly reaches one engine, reverses itself immediately, and flies back to the other engine, ...
1
vote
2answers
142 views

Two math professors problem

My friend asks me a question from internet. The question is as follows Two math professors, professor Uno and professor Dos, play chess at the park while reminiscing about their past. Prof. ...
0
votes
6answers
86 views

How to know a number is divisible by a given number without using a calculator?

My question is simple and comes from my curiousity during studying math. How to know a number is divisible by $7$ or $13$ without using a calculator? For example, how do we decide intuitively that ...
8
votes
1answer
63 views

Is every point on a Menger Sponge visible from the outside?

Choose an arbitrary point on the surface of a Menger Sponge. Can you find a straight line starting at that point and extending beyond the sponge that doesn't intersect the sponge anywhere else? That ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

About the rationality of $1.1010010001\dots$ [duplicate]

Let's define $\rho=1.1010010001\dots$ which can be expressed by: ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Armstrong numbers in base 90

Are there any Armstrong numbers (narcissistic numbers) in base 90? Of course, except the one-digit ones. There don't seem to be. Just curious.
2
votes
0answers
67 views

area estimation with tiling

For any given shape drawn on a graph paper, a kid can calculate the area of any shape by counting the tiles with a simple formula: any edge covering 50% or more, mark the tile; total area = sum all ...