Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Maths Puzzles


Try this bridge crossing puzzle.


The easiest way to explain these thirteen puzzles is with an example: Suppose
you see a puzzle with the four clues

Mariachi Orchestra

Sharp Coloratura

If you match up "Mariachi" with "Coloratura" and "Sharp" with "Orchestra" and
then look for hidden words (as in cryptic crosswords), you get

MariachiColoratura and SharpOrchestra

The missing member of the trio is GROUCHO.

In general, the data to a puzzle will be two equal-length columns of words
or phrases. If you match up the left-clues with the right-clues in the proper
way, you will be able to find hidden words, each of which is composed of
terminal letters of a left-clue and initial letters of the matching right-clue.
These hidden words will in some sense form a set from which something is missing.
Even when there is more than one answer ("What about Gummo and Zeppo?"), there
should be a clear best answer.

In the above example, Chico and Harpo were two members of a natural threesome.
But there are many ways in which there can be "one thing missing". The hidden
words, when properly arranged, could form an excerpt from a sequence in which
an intervening term has been omitted. The hidden words could consist of pairs
together with one unpaired item that admits a natural mate (based on the pattern
governing the pairs that are present). The hidden words may point to some
single word, as "fast," "health," junk," and "soul" all point towards "food".
And so on.

The clues themselves may appear to obey some superficial logic; for instance,
all the clues in the example above pertained to music. Such patterns are merely
decorative, and designed to distract and amuse. Capitalization and punctuation
of clues are to be ignored.

As you solve the twelve puzzles, enter the solutions in the spaces below:

1 ____________ ____________ 2

3 ____________ ____________ 4

5 ____________ ____________ 6

7 ____________ ____________ 8

9 ____________ ____________ 10

11 ____________ ____________ 12

When you have found all twelve answers, you will see before you the thirteenth
and final puzzle."

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