Ready for a break from reading/watching/worrying about you-know-what? Finally figured out Westworld? (Trick question—no one ever figures out Westworld.) Caught up with your reading? Done your taxes? (Take it easy, you’ve got until July 15.) Ready for something completely different? Here you go then:
Which letter of the alphabet can’t be found in the names of the U.S. states?
March 21, NYT daily crossword, 60A: “Race car, e.g.” Ten letters.
You have an 8 x 3 sheet of plywood, which you want to use for a 12 x 2 tabletop. How do you cut it into two pieces so it will fit the tabletop?
Two cards are dealt face-up and two face-down from a 52-card deck. In which of these two scenarios is it more likely that the face-down cards are a pair?
Scenario 1: The face-up cards are the queen of hearts and the queen of diamonds
Scenario 2: The face-up cards are the queen of hearts and the king of spades
Roll the blue wheel (10 cogs) all the way around the green wheel (50 cogs) back to where it started. How many revolutions will the arrow make?
Monk and Mountain
At sunrise, a monk starts walking up a mountain path, reaching the summit at sunset. The next day, he starts down at sunrise, getting to the bottom at sunset. Is there a spot on the trail that he occupies on both trips at exactly the same time of day?
“A rose-red city half as old as Time” is the one and only line virtually anyone remembers from prolific poet William Burgon. In his honor, the late puzzle-meister Martin Gardner penned the following:
A rose-red city half as old as Time
One billion years ago the city’s age
Was just two-fifths of what Time’s age will be
A billion years from now. Can you compute
How old the crimson city is today?”
Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) invented doublets during Christmas 1877. Easier to show than to explain:
APE-APT-OPT-OAT-MAT-MAN (changing one letter at a time).
Your challenge is to go from WINTER to SUMMER in eight steps.
Where is this? (And was the backward “D” intentional?!)
(SPOILER ALERT: ANSWERS FOLLOW AFTER THE PHOTO!)
Obviously, the scenario leaving the most pairs in the deck will yield the best chance that the face-down cards are a pair. First off, ignore all cards other than queens and kings. (Since they’re the same in both scenarios.)
Scenario 1, you’re left with the queen of clubs (Qc), queen of spades and all four kings, i.e. Qc, Qs, Kc, Kd, Kh and Ks, giving 7 possible pairs (Qc + Qd, Kc + Kd, Kc + Kh, Kc + Ks, Kd + Kh, Kd + Ks, Kh + Ks).
Scenario 2, you’re left with Qc, Qd, Qs, Kc, Kd and Kh, giving 6 possible pairs (Qc + Qd, Qc + Qs, Qd + Qs, Kc + Kd, Kc + Kh, Kd + Kh).
Six. (Not five—try it!)
Monk and Mountain
Yes. Imagine, on the day the monk walks up, the monk’s doppelgänger walks down. Somewhere on the trail, they pass each other.
7 billion years.
Let C = city’s present age and T = present age of Time. A billion years ago, city’s age (in billion years) = C – 1. A billion years in the future, Time’s age (in billion years) = T + 1. Then:
2C = T and C – 1 = 2 (T + 1)/5. Giving C = 7 billion, T = 14 billion (which is pretty accurate!)
2nd and E, Old Town Eureka (The Irish Shop)