The Indisputable Santa Mathematical Advent Calendar
Day 17

Happy 17th of December!

Throughout the month, to accompany the release of our book on the Mathematics of ChristmasHannah Fry & I are tweeting out Christmathsy bits and pieces, one a day, advent calendar style. Assuming we don’t run out of ideas, that is…
 day_s

The lyrics were created using the same Markov model used to generate the Queen’s tweets. How many of the nine Christmas songs can you identify?

Answers via the comments or on Twitter. All correct answers will be rewarded with deep respect and warm Christmas wishes. Enjoy!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE WHOLE CALENDAR SO FAR


SOLUTION TO YESTERDAY’S PUZZLE

Click here for the puzzle.

Scroll down for the solution…

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Solution:

Here’s our suggestion for the fourth picture:

sum_soln_0

Street photo: Thomas Bresson

Stephen Hawking: A wise man (3 of them)

Reindeer in “The Night Before Christmas” (8 of those*)

Alan Sugar doing the high jump: A lord-a-leaping (10 of those**)

3 × 8 + 10 = 34

So we need something Christmassy that is associated with the number 34. i.e. a street, as in the Oscar-winning 1947 Christmas film “Miracle on 34th Street” (and its many, less award-winning remakes):

sum_soln

Street photo: Thomas Bresson

Apologies to those outside the UK (or inside it, for that matter) who didn’t know who Lord Sugar was.

Congratulations to…screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-16-49-42screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-06-12-42screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-09-13-56

screen-shot-2016-12-17-at-06-13-10

The solution is hiding in that link…

Genuine Christmas miracles.


* No Rudolph in the original poem, of course!

** There are, admittedly, different versions of the song, but a Google search suggests that “10 lords-a-leaping”, the number given in the most influential 1909 Austin version of the song, is at least eight times more popular than either of the other possibilities.

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Day 17

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