Posts filed under the 'Puzzles' category


Scenes from my programming past: Puzzles III

Continuing through this set of five puzzles from 40 years ago ( one , two ) that I had to solve using FORTRAN on punched cards on King’s College’s timeshare. The third puzzle is perhaps the most tedious of all so far. Let’s see what it says: One Christmas treat we, alas, never miss is Aunt Millicent’s smell game. She puts five of what she terms ‘substances’ in muslin bags and bids us take a good sniff in turn. Her sense of humour is very much her own as you will see from this record of guesses from...

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Scenes from my programming past: Puzzles II

Continuing through this set of five puzzles from 40 years ago , presumably designed to be solved with FORTRAN, the language I used back then. Here’s the second puzzle, one that seems like a logical one: Five anglers were propping up the bar of The Compleat Idiot the other night, arguing about the day’s catch. As all were lying themselves blue, no information whatever emerged until the landlord finally intervened. “Look,” he said, “each of you has caught just one fish. The five fish together weigh...

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Scenes from my programming past: Puzzles I

In cleaning out our basement ready for our move, I came across the folders of my notes I’d laboriously written during the lectures for my Mathematics degree. There in the middle of Year 2’s notes were some notes on programming, and in there were a set of five puzzles. Presumably we were given these to see whether we could write a program to solve them. In FORTRAN, natch, because that’s all we had at the time. So let’s see how we do. Here’s the first puzzle. If OODDF is the square root of WONDERFUL...

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