Monthly Archives: December 2017

Which number


What is the smallest number that has a remainder of 2 when divided by 14, 18 and 32?

You can check your solution here

New puzzles are published at least twice a month on Fridays.

Christmas 2017


Dominosas are puzzles where the dominoes have been shuffled and turned face up. All the numbers are given, but the borders between the dominoes are not given – these have to be solved by the reader.
I used to publish quarterly on them at my site domino plaza.

Usually a 6×6 set of dominoes is used, though larger or smaller sets can be used.

Here are two examples:
1) The christmas bauble**/*****


2) The church****/*****


You can check your solution here

3) Solving strategies
a) Counts
Make a count of how often all combinations appear. To do so, list all dominoes and how often they appear in the puzzle:
0-0: 2
1-0: 3
1-1: 5
2-0: 2
2-1: 1
2-2: 3
and so on.
This will give you the position of 2-1. Mark the borders on the printed puzzle.

b) Cross off deleted connections



Continuing the above example, it is easy to jump to a conclusion about 3-3, but before that we have some bookkeeping to do. Identifying the domino severed a number of links. In our example the severed links are the 3-1, 6-1, 2-0, and 5-2. When we update our list above for these severed links, we find that the number of 2-0 combinations is now reduced to 1, giving another domino.

c) Unique positions.



In this diagram, it is easy to see that in the top left position, only-the 3-3 is possible.

d) Block impossible links
Identifying the 3-3 domino blocks the link between all other 3-3 combinations:



This in turn, will in some situations trigger another situation like in step c)

New puzzles are published at least twice a month on Fridays. Solutions are usually published after one or more weeks.

External links:
https://www.puzzle-dominosa.com/ – play them online
https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/puzzles/js/dominosa.html – another online game site
http://medmunds.github.io/puzzles/dominosa.html – 3rd in line play
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.oxothuk.dominosa – android app
http://www.mathematica-journal.com/2014/10/three-ways-to-solve-domino-grids/ – three ways to solve them.

Bongard problem colours


The Russian scientist M.M. Bongard published a book in 1967 that contains 100 problems. Each problem consists of 12 small boxes: six boxes on the left and six on the right. Each of the six boxes on the left conform to a certain rule. Each and every box on the right contradicts this rule. Your task, of course, is to figure out the rule.

Bongard problem colours**/*****

You can check your solution here

You can find more Bongard problems here and at Harry Foundalis site, and in the category ‘Bongard problems’ in the right margin of this page.

New puzzles are published at least twice a month on Fridays. Solutions are published after one or more weeks. You are welcome to remark on the difficulty level of the puzzles, discuss alternate solutions, and so on. Puzzles are rated on a scale of 1 to 5 stars.

Next month I intend to publish a Christmas special.

Hidden numbers


In issue @@@ of @@@, Sanders published a new type of puzzle, called ‘hidden numbers’.

I must confess that the puzzle was too hard for me, though in the future I may give it a try again.

In this post I present a simplified version.
1. The numbers 1 to n have been hidden in a square grid.
2. Yellow areas give the sum of the hidden numbers in row and column of the yellow square.

Example:


1) 4×4*/*****


2) 5×5*/*****


3) 6×6**/*****


From here there are two ways to increase the difficulty of the puzzle (aside from increasing the size):
a) Put more than one hidden number in a row and / or column. This is what Sanders did.
b) Sum only the first number visible in any row or column. Any number, including the numbers in yellow squares, block the line of sight for any numbers behind them.

New puzzles are published twice a month on Fridays. Solutions are published after one or more weeks. You are welcome to discuss difficulty levels, variations and alternate solutions, but plz. don’t publish the solutions.