Archive for brute-force solution

Le Monde puzzle [#1127]

Posted in Books, Kids, R, Statistics with tags , , , , on January 17, 2020 by xi'an

A permutation challenge as Le weekly Monde current mathematical puzzle:

When considering all games between 20 teams, of which 3 games have not yet been played, wins bring 3 points, losses 0 points, and draws 1 point (each). If the sum of all points over all teams and all games is 516, was is the largest possible number of teams with no draw in every game they played?

The run of a brute force R simulation of 187 purely random games did not produce enough acceptable tables in a reasonable time. So I instead considered that a sum of 516 over 187 games means solving 3a+2b=516 and a+b=187, leading to 142 3’s to allocate and 45 1’s. Meaning for instance this realisation of an acceptable table of game results

    sample(c(rep(1,45),rep(3,142)))* #1's and 3'
    (1-2*(runif(20*19/2-3)<.5)) #sign

Running 10⁶ random realisations of such matrices with no constraint whatsoever provided a solution with] 915,524 tables with no no-draws, 81,851 tables with 19 teams with some draws, 2592 tables with 18 with some draws and 3 tables with 17 with some draws. However, given that 10*9=90 it seems to me that the maximum number should be 10 by allocating all 90 draw points to the same 10 teams, and 143 3’s at random in the remaining games, and I reran a simulated annealing version (what else?!), reaching a maximum 6 teams with no draws. Nowhere near 10, though!

Le Monde puzzle [#1120]

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, R with tags , , , , on January 14, 2020 by xi'an

A board game as Le weekly Monde current mathematical puzzle:

11 players in a circle and 365 tokens first owned by a single player. Players with at least two tokens can either remove one token and give another one left or move two right and one left. How quickly does the game stall, how many tokens are left, and where are they?

The run of a R simulation like

  if (max(bob)>1){

always provides a solution

> bob
 [1] 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0

with six ones at these locations. However the time it takes to reach this frozen configuration varies, depending on the sequence of random choices.


Le Monde puzzle [#1124]

Posted in Books, Kids, R with tags , , , , , on December 29, 2019 by xi'an

A prime number challenge [or rather two!] as Le weekly Monde current mathematical puzzle:

When considering the first two integers, 1 and 2, their sum is 3, a prime number. For the first four integers, 1,2,3,4, it is again possible to sum them pairwise to obtain two prime numbers, eg 3 and 7. Up to which limit is this operation feasible? And how many primes below 30,000 can write as n^p+p^n?

The run of a brute force R simulation like


provides a solution for the first question until n=14 when it stops. A direct explanation is that the number of prime numbers grows too slowly for all sums to be prime. And the second question gets solved by direct enumeration using again the is_prime R function from the primes package:

[1] 1 1
[1] 1 2
[1] 1 4
[1] 2 3
[1] 3 4

Le Monde puzzle [#1119]

Posted in Kids, R with tags , , , , on December 8, 2019 by xi'an

A digit puzzle as Le weekly Monde current mathematical puzzle that sounds close to some earlier versions:

Perfect squares are pairs (a²,b²) with the same number of digits such that a²b² is itself a square. What is the pair providing a²b² less than 10⁶? Is there a solution with both integers enjoying ten digits?

The run of a brute force R code like

  if ((n<-u(log(a^2,ba=10)))==u(log(b^2,ba=10))&
      (u(sqrt(a^2*10^(n+1)+b^2))^2==(a^2*10^(n+1)+b^2))) print(c(a,b))}

provides solutions to the first question.

[1] 2 3
[1] 4 9
[1] 12 20
[1] 15 25
[1] 18 30
[1] 49 99
[1] 126 155
[1] 154 300
[1] 159 281
[1] 177 277
[1] 228 100
[1] 252 310
[1] 285 125

with the (demonstrable) conclusion that the only pairs with an even number of digits are of the form (49…9²,9…9²), as for instance (49999²,99999²) with ten digits each.

Le Monde puzzle [#1115]

Posted in Kids, R with tags , , , , , on October 28, 2019 by xi'an

A two-person game as Le weekly Monde current mathematical puzzle:

Two players Amaruq and Atiqtalik are in a game with n tokens where Amaruq chooses a number 1<A<10 and then Atiqtalik chooses a different 1<B<10, and then each in her turn takes either 1, A or B tokens out of the pile.The player taking the last token wins. If n=150, who between Amaruq and Atiqtalik win if both are acting in an optimal manner? Same question for n=210.

The run of a brute force R code like

for (i in 10:200){
    for (b in 2:9){
       for (a in (2:9)[-b+1])
       for (d in c(1,a,b)){
        if (max(!e)){v[a,b]=max(-1,v[a,b])}else{
         if (max(e)>0) v[a,b]=max(v[a,b],min(B[e[which(e>0)]]))}}

always produces 1’s in B, which means the first player wins no matter… I thus found out (from the published solution) that my interpretation of the game rules were wrong. The values A and B are fixed once for all and each player only has the choice between withdrawing 1, A, and B on her turn. With the following code showing that Amaruq looses both times.

for(b in(2:9))
 for(a in(2:9)[-b+1])
  for(i in(2:210)){
   for(d in c(1,a,b)){
    if (d==i){best=1}else{
      if (max(!e)){be=max(-1,be)}else{
       if (max(e)>0)be=max(be,min(B[e[which(e>0)]]))}}}

Le Monde puzzle [#1114]

Posted in Kids, R with tags , , , , , , on October 16, 2019 by xi'an

Another very low-key arithmetic problem as Le Monde current mathematical puzzle:

32761 is 181² and the difference of two cubes, which ones? And 181=9²+10², the sum of two consecutive integers. Is this a general rule, i.e. the root z of a perfect square that is the difference of two cubes is always the sum of two consecutive integers squared?

The solution proceeds by a very dumb R search of cubes, leading to


The general rule can be failed by a single counter-example. Running

  if (sol) 

which is based on the fact that, if z is the sum of two consecutive integers squared, a² and (a+1)² then

2 a²<z<2 (a+1)²

Running the R code produces

x=14, y=7

as a counter-example. (Note that, however, if the difference of cubes of two consecutive integers is a square, then this square can be written as the sum of the squares of two different integers.) Reading the solution in the following issue led me to realise I had missed the consecutive in the statement of the puzzle!

Le Monde puzzle [#1112]

Posted in Books, Kids, R with tags , , , on October 3, 2019 by xi'an

Another low-key arithmetic problem as Le Monde current mathematical puzzle:

Find the 16 integers x¹,x²,x³,x⁴,y¹,y²,y³,y⁴,z¹,z²,z³,z⁴,w¹,w²,w³,w⁴ such that the groups x¹,y¹,z¹,w¹, &tc., are made of distinct positive integers, the sum of the x’s is 24, of the y’s 20, of the z’s 19 and of the w’s 17. Furthermore, x¹<max(y¹,z¹,w¹), x²<max(y²,z²,w²), x³<max(y³,z³,w³)=z³, and x⁴<max(y⁴,z⁴,w⁴), while x¹<x².

There are thus 4 x 3 unknowns, all bounded by either 20-3=17 or 19-3=16 for x³,y³,z³. It is then a case for brute force resolution since drawing all quadruplets by rmultinom until all conditions are satisfied


returns quickly several solutions. Meaning I misread the question and missed the constraint that the four values at each step were the same up to a permutation, decreasing the number of unknowns to four, a,b,c,d (ordered). And then three because the sum of the four is 20, average of the four sums. It seems to me that the first sum of x’s being 24 and involving only a,b, and c implies that 4c is larger than 24, ie c>6, hence d>7, while a>0 and b>1, leaving only two degrees of freedom for choosing the four values, meaning that only

  1 2 7 10
1 2 8 9
1 3 7 9
1 4 7 8
2 3 7 8

are possible. Sampling at random across these possible choices and allocating the numbers at random to x,y,z, and w leads rather quickly to the solution

     [,1] [,2] [,3] [,4]
[1,]    3    7    7    7
[2,]    2    8    2    8
[3,]    7    2    8    2
[4,]    8    3    3    3