Friday, May 26, 2006

Wei-Hwa's Puzzle Challenges Part 1

The first puzzle challenge was a simple math problem that required the use of fractions. The puzzle is described as follows:

Using the numbers 3, 3, 8, 8 (in any order), make a mathematical expression that equals 24. You can use only addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division (and parentheses), but in any order you wish. Note that you have to use all four numbers;

This problem in itself is not a difficult one, but you are required to "see" an idea. The idea you have to grasp is that the solution is 8 * 3 but you are required to use the additional 8 and 3. What you need to figure out is how to reduce the remaining 8 and 3 down to 1. Basically you want to get a fraction in the form of m / (1 / n). You can achieve this as follows.
Now here are a couple of tougher questions.

First, is this the only solution for 8,8,3,3? I think it is, but I'd like to see a proof.

Second, what set of numbers will this solution apply to? 10,10,3,3? 11,11,3,3? Consider 7,7,3,3

Finally, don't be discouraged if you expected more out of this first puzzle. I highly anticipate Google throwing some resources into this project, but in order to keep people interested they needed to get something together quick, and this was the result. Happy Memorial Day to those of you in the states, be safe and solve swiftly.

Congratulations to a blogging person who was the first to solve this challenge. In the future I hope they release these earlier in the day rather than after 4 P.M? I hope he is going to release one everyday, does anyone know?

If you want to join in on the fun, you can add the puzzle module to your Google PHP from this link.

Get all of the MSN Conspiracy Game Answers here


At 5/26/2006 10:40 PM, Blogger RoninBlackmoore said...

I still of COURSE am stumped on this one, WHY?? EVIL numbers as usual.. Its not impossible seeming though.
I will keep trying.


At 5/27/2006 1:04 AM, Blogger Sandro said...

You make it sound so simple GF. I actually had a hard time with this one, and I'm pretty good with logic puzzles. So I agree with mistressronins. I hope you post the answers for the upcoming puzzles as well.

At 5/27/2006 2:51 PM, Blogger M said...

I got it. ^^

At 5/27/2006 4:34 PM, Blogger Elly said...

I agree with MR too - and I have to admit, reading your solution confused me even more than the question...

At 5/27/2006 8:22 PM, Blogger Vérité said...

I must agree with mistressronins on this one as well (tough stuff). I did finally get it but it took me a good half hour and I had pretty much exhausted all my possibilities. What a way to make a person feel smart!! Keep posting solutions GF.

At 5/27/2006 9:01 PM, Blogger Bazil said...

This is the only solution for 3,3,8,8. I wrote a quick program that ran through all the possible formula permutations without parentheses, dumped that into Excel and ran some quick formulas to calculate answers for both possible parenthesis arrangements: (x.x).(x.x), (x.(x.(x.x)))

The following came closest in the nested parentheses.
8-(3*(3-8)) and...
8+(3*(8-3)) come out as 23
3+(8*(8/3)) and...
3+(8/(3/8)) come out as 24.333

The following came up as 23.625:
And, the following as 24.375

I'll tweak it to try the 7/11 and other combinations!

At 5/27/2006 9:13 PM, Blogger Bazil said...

7,7,3,3 is the only set that you suggested that has a possible solution for 24.

At 5/29/2006 2:23 PM, Blogger  said...

Agreed. That was pretty easy. Want something REALLY challenging?

After you figure this one out, though, it'll hit you in the head with a "To be continued..."

At 5/29/2006 2:52 PM, Blogger G00GLEFACT said...

Very nice. I am definately in on that one. It looks like fun. I'll put a new post up about it soon.

I'll also try and clean up the Eurostar quest and the AWR. With those two complete we will have completed 3 seperate challenges with this Windows Live challenge being the fourth.

Sorry for not being around, I'll be back tomorrow

At 5/29/2006 5:16 PM, Blogger pyro@sp said...

GF: A warning about the MSN Conspiracy game. Firefox doesn't like the 'auto-open new window' trigger in the Windows Live box at the bottom; WL will open in the same window as the Flash file, without generating a new tab to do so and thus interrupting your game session.

This leads to a playability issue. In order to get past the third puzzle (the first one requiring a map) AND use Windows Live, you must use IE. Alternately, you should be able to use Firefox if you switch windows to use Google Maps (or WL Local), or if you know what you're doing and just click 'Continue' when prompted. (I'd verify this, but suddenly Fx doesn't want to even load the game for some reason.)

At 5/29/2006 11:35 PM, Blogger GreenGoodness said... there ever going to be a new challenge?


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