Author Archives: thomas

How to fill Philbert – MINI-PUZZLE

Here’s a bonus puzzle inspired by a recent Christmas purchase.

I bought this jolly fellow in Covent Garden:

We named him Philbert, for some reason.

As you can see, Philbert has two cubes in his stomach (dice, basically), each of which has a digit on each face. By rearranging the dice, you can count the days until Christmas.

Puzzle 1 (EASY)

Continue reading

More Christmas Maths!

OK, so I’ve come out of my long period of digital aestivation and returned to my blog and to various social media platforms.

Rather excitingly, a new version of Hannah and my Christmas maths book is out today! There’s a new chapter about cake, so that’s nice.

There’s also a US version this year, in which we spell things differently and provide extra info on bizarre British festive traditions (though how they get through the day without detonating a small explosive in a cardboard tube and fighting over a pack of mini-screwdrivers, I have no idea).

The UK Edition on Amazon.co.uk

The US Edition on Amazon.com

Here are the two new covers, side by side:

UK Version

US Version

 

New Year Puzzles

Happy New Year!

imp_pixie_image

So, the Elfnigma (PuzzleSolution) that was set as Day 9 of the Mathematical Advent Calendar suggests some further chess board related puzzles featuring other varieties of faerie folk. Obviously, the elves of the puzzle were based on queens from a chessboard, but while queens can take any piece in the same row, column or diagonal, elves could only see tiles in these directions that were either adjacent (diagonally, horizontally or vertically) or of the same colour.

The question asked was (essentially) how many elves could be placed on a chess board, such that none could see any other (just as the Eight Queens Problem asks how eight queens can be placed on a chess board such that none threatens any other). This leads naturally to other questions involving magical creatures that are based on other chess pieces. Continue reading

Happy Boxing Day from The Indisputable Santa Mathematical Advent Calendar!

Happy Boxing Day!

Throughout the month, to accompany the release of our book on the Mathematics of ChristmasHannah Fry & I were tweeting out Christmathsy bits and pieces, one a day, advent calendar style.

calendar_title

A final post, to provide the solution to Friday’s puzzle.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE WHOLE CALENDAR

Continue reading

Merry Christmas from The Indisputable Santa Mathematical Advent Calendar!

Merry Christmas!

Throughout the month, to accompany the release of our book on the Mathematics of ChristmasHannah Fry & I were tweeting out Christmathsy bits and pieces, one a day, advent calendar style.

calendar_title

Thanks for following the Indisputable Santa Mathematical Advent Calendar. Just a few loose ends to wrap up, with a solution to our Christmas Eve puzzle today, with the solution to Friday’s puzzle (Santa’s Dressing Room Disasters) to come tomorrow…

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE WHOLE CALENDAR

Continue reading