## easy and uneasy riddles

Posted in Books, Kids, R with tags , , , , , on February 2, 2021 by xi'an

On 15 January, The Riddler had both a straightforward and a challenging riddles. The first one was to optimise the choice of a real number d with the utility function U(d,θ)=d ℑ(θ>d), when θ is Uniform(0,100). Leading unsurprisingly to d=50…

The tough(er) one was to solve a form of sudoku where the 24 entries of a 8×3 table are integers in {1,…,9} and the information is provided by the row-wise and column-wise products of these integers. The vertical margins are

294, 216, 135, 98, 112, 84, 245, 40

and the horizontal margins are

8 890 560, 156 800, 55 566

After an unsuccessful brute-force (and pseudo-annealed) attempt achieving a minimum error of 127, although using the prime factor decompositions of these 11 margins, I realised that some entries were known: e.g., 7 at (1,2), 5 at (3,2), and 7 at (7,3), and (much later) that the (huge) product value for the first column implied that each term in that column had to be the maximal possible value for the corresponding rows, except for 5 on row 7. This leads to the starting grid

    [,1] [,2] [,3]
[1,]    7    7    6
[2,]    9    0    0
[3,]    9    5    3
[4,]    7    0    0
[5,]    8    0    0
[6,]    7    0    0
[7,]    5    7    7
[8,]    8    0    0


and an additional and obvious exclusion based on the absence of 3’s in the second column, of 5’s and 2’s in the third column shows there was a unique solution

    [,1] [,2] [,3]
[1,]    7    7    6
[2,]    9    8    3
[3,]    9    5    3
[4,]    7    2    7
[5,]    8    2    7
[6,]    7    4    3
[7,]    5    7    7
[8,]    8    5    1


as also demonstrated by a complete exploration with R:

Try it online!

## Fermat’s Riddle

Posted in Books, Kids, R with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2020 by xi'an

·A Fermat-like riddle from the Riddler (with enough room to code on the margin)

An  arbitrary positive integer N is to be written as a difference of two distinct positive integers. What are the impossible cases and else can you provide a list of all distinct representations?

Since the problem amounts to finding a>b>0 such that

$N=a^2-b^2=(a-b)(a+b)$

both (a+b) and (a-b) are products of some of the prime factors in the decomposition of N and both terms must have the same parity for the average a to be an integer. This eliminates decompositions with a single prime factor 2 (and N=1). For other cases, the following R code (which I could not deposit on tio.run because of the packages R.utils!) returns a list

library(R.utils)
library(numbers)
bitz<-function(i,m) #int2bits
c(rev(as.binary(i)),rep(0,m))[1:m]
ridl=function(n){
a=primeFactors(n)
if((n==1)|(sum(a==2)==1)){
print("impossible")}else{
m=length(a);g=NULL
for(i in 1:2^m){
b=bitz(i,m)
if(((d<-prod(a[!!b]))%%2==(e<-prod(a[!b]))%%2)&(d<e))
g=rbind(g,c(k<-(e+d)/2,l<-(e-d)/2))}
return(g[!duplicated(g[,1]-g[,2]),])}}


For instance,

> ridl(1456)
[,1] [,2]
[1,]  365  363
[2,]  184  180
[3,]   95   87
[4,]   59   45
[5,]   40   12
[6,]   41   15


Checking for the most prolific N, up to 10⁶, I found that N=6720=2⁶·3·5·7 produces 20 different decompositions. And that N=887,040=2⁸·3²·5·7·11 leads to 84 distinct differences of squares.

## riddle of the seats

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , on November 8, 2019 by xi'an

An arithmetic quick riddle from The Riddler:

If an integer n is a multiple of every integer between 1 and 200, except for two consecutive ones, find those consecutive integers.

Since the highest power of 2 less than 200 is 2⁷=128 and since 127 is a prime number, the number

$2^6\times \prod_{i=0,i\ne 63}^{99} (2i+1)$

should work in that it contains all odd integers but 127, and all even numbers, but 128. Of course a smaller number that avoids duplicates by only considering the 44 primes other than 127 and 2 to a power that keep them less than 200 is also valid. Which gives a number of the order of 1.037443 10⁸⁵.

## missing digit in a 114 digit number [a Riddler’s riddle]

Posted in R, Running, Statistics with tags , , , , , , , on January 31, 2019 by xi'an

A puzzling riddle from The Riddler (as Le Monde had a painful geometry riddle this week): this number with 114 digits

530,131,801,762,787,739,802,889,792,754,109,70?,139,358,547,710,066,257,652,050,346,294,484,433,323,974,747,960,297,803,292,989,236,183,040,000,000,000

is missing one digit and is a product of some of the integers between 2 and 99. By comparison, 76! and 77! have 112 and 114 digits, respectively. While 99! has 156 digits. Using WolframAlpha on-line prime factor decomposition code, I found that only 6 is a possible solution, as any other integer between 0 and 9 included a large prime number in its prime decomposition:

However, I thought anew about it when swimming the next early morning [my current substitute to morning runs] and reasoned that it was not necessary to call a formal calculator as it is reasonably easy to check that this humongous number has to be divisible by 9=3×3 (for else there are not enough terms left to reach 114 digits, checked by lfactorial()… More precisely, 3³³x33! has 53 digits and 99!/3³³x33! 104 digits, less than 114), which means the sum of all digits is divisible by 9, which leads to 6 as the unique solution.

## Le Monde puzzle [#1063]

Posted in Books, Kids, R with tags , , , , , , on August 9, 2018 by xi'an

A simple (summertime?!) arithmetic Le Monde mathematical puzzle

1. A “powerful integer” is such that all its prime divisors are at least with multiplicity 2. Are there two powerful integers in a row, i.e. such that both n and n+1 are powerful?
2.  Are there odd integers n such that n² – 1 is a powerful integer ?

The first question can be solved by brute force.  Here is a R code that leads to the solution:

isperfz <- function(n){
divz=primeFactors(n)
facz=unique(divz)
ordz=rep(0,length(facz))
for (i in 1:length(facz))
ordz[i]=sum(divz==facz[i])
return(min(ordz)>1)}

lesperf=NULL
for (t in 4:1e5)
if (isperfz(t)) lesperf=c(lesperf,t)
twinz=lesperf[diff(lesperf)==1]


with solutions 8, 288, 675, 9800, 12167.

The second puzzle means rerunning the code only on integers n²-1…

[1] 8
[1] 288
[1] 675
[1] 9800
[1] 235224
[1] 332928
[1] 1825200
[1] 11309768


except that I cannot exceed n²=10⁸. (The Le Monde puzzles will now stop for a month, just like about everything in France!, and then a new challenge will take place. Stay tuned.)