Archive for October, 2018

The Forgotten Hat

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

It was well known amongst his colleagues that professor Ambrose Helleborus would leave the house and later return without his hat, as a matter of fact, according to his housekeeper, Mrs. MacGillicuddy, this would regularly occur once after every four excursions on the town.

On a windy winter’s day, professor Ambrose Helleborus went to the university library to do some research on the legendary Kingdom of Agartha, after which he went to enjoy a tasty lunch at the Chez Antoine café, whereafter he spent a leisurely afternoon with cronies at the Jolly Hills Chess Club.

Subsequently, professor Ambrose Helleborus returned home without his hat, facing extensive interrogation by Mrs. MacGillicuddy, who would have to retrace his steps and retrieve the hat, as it was a treasured gift from professor Einstein.

But Mrs. MacGillicuddy didn’t mind as she by now had developed a circle of chat friends along professor Ambrose Helleborus’ usual excursion routes.

What are the respective probabilities that professor Ambrose Helleborus left his hat at the university library, Chez Antoine’s and the Jolly Hills Chess Club?

 

The Road Crossing

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Seymore, a green frog, wanted to cross the road to get to his favorite pond where frog mates were plentiful. However, the road was a dangerous place to cross, and Seymore was worried he might get run over by a passing motor vehicle.

Brer Rabbit had told Seymore that on the average about a 100 cars would pass per hour along this stretch of road, which was valuable information indeed.

Seymore needed one minute to hop across the road and any car passing by could be fatal.

So he looked up at his lucky star and got ready to jump.

What would you say is the probability that no car would pass while Seymore was crossing the road and destroy his froggy dream to arrive at his favorite mating pond?

The Chess Match

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

One Sunday afternoon, a chess match was being held at the King’s Hills Chess Club where bets were being made on Henry MacDuff versus Melvin Longspur. Henry MacDuff was rated as a three times better player than Melvin Longspur.

Judge Roy Bean decided that they would play ten rounds and whoever won three consecutive times would win a copy of the famous Royal Diamond Chess set.

How many rounds would have to be played for Henry MacDuff to have a good chance of winning three consecutive games?

The Emperor’s Triangular Array

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

To emulate and surpass the famous emperor Qin’s necropolis achievement, emperor Wu Shu, who preferred to be known as “He Who Cannot Be Counted,” decided that after the end of his life he wanted to be buried at the head of an army of 10,440 terracotta soldiers standing at attention in a triangular array of rows.

“Chow Sao, I want to know the cumulative Grand Sum of the number of ways of arranging soldiers in each respective row,” said emperor Wu Shu to his Feng Shui advisor.

“This Grand Sum must be perfectly divisible by 12, the number of heavenly animals in the Shengxiao zodiac,” added emperor Wu Shu.

“Yes, my glorious emperor,” moaned Chow Sao, “your wish is my command,” starting to genuflect reversing himself out of the emperor’s lush palace quarters.

“If the Grand Sum is not perfectly divisible by 12, I want you to tell me exactly which rows of soldiers must be removed to obtain a zero remainder,” commanded emperor Wu Shu.

“As you wish, my illustrious emperor,” said Chow Sao, shuffling more rapidly to increase his reverse velocity as he saw empress Soo Lao enter the palace room.

“This grand sum must be perfectly divisible by 12. Empress Soo Lao has informed me that I shall suffer great misfortune in the heaven life unless this is so,” emphasized emperor Wu Shu, waving his scepter.

“This is so, Chow Sao,” said empress Soo Lao sternly, “any mistakes, and I will have sorceress Ba Fa turn you into stone and place you as the first soldier in the first row.”

“The Gods forbid,” said Chow Sao accelerating his backward velocity at a phenomenal rate and absconding from the emperor’s quarters in a great hurry to begin his calculating task.

Would you say that this Grand Sum was divisible by 12, and if not, would any rows of soldiers have to be removed from the triangular array of soldiers envisioned?

 

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