Category Archives: Puzzles

Exit Strategy – A puzzle game


They say no one ever escaped from the New Reykjavik Penitentiary, probably because no one ever did, but as one of NeRP’s newest inmates, you’re hoping you’ll be an exception to the rule…

This puzzle game looks like a text adventure, but is actually something rather different. Make sure to set your frustration threshold to high before you give it a go.

At the end, you will get a score out of 1000. Obviously, nothing short of full full marks constitutes a victory.

DOWNLOAD THE GAME HERE

This puzzle does not require any mathematical knowledge at all, though you will need Python 3, along with a couple of basic packages (numpy and random).

If you are new to Python, I recommend installing the Anaconda distribution (https://www.anaconda.com/download/), then you can open and run the file in Spyder.

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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)

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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.

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

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE WHOLE CALENDAR

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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

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The Indisputable Santa Mathematical Advent Calendar
Day 24

Happy 24th 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…

And so, the final day of the Impossible Santa Mathematical Advent Calendar has arrived. Santa is about to set off, but there’s still time to take a quick register of the reindeer:

“Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer, and Vixen!
“On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!”*

But, wait a minute… Which one is which?

day_24

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

The solution to this puzzle will be posted tomorrow (Christmas!) with the solution to yesterday’s Dressing Room Disaster puzzles to follow on Boxing Day (mainly because the explanation of the solution is taking a while to write up!).

Merry Christmas everyone!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE COMPLETE CALENDAR


* I was interested to learn that “Donner and Blitzen” were actually named “Dunder and Blixen” (or other variations thereof) in early versions of the text. I suppose the versions in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer must have ultimately overwhelmed these alternatives.