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Posts Tagged ‘Puzzle

“Dear Santa, before I submit my life to your scrutiny, I demand to know who made YOU the master of my fate?!*…


Father Christmas as pictured in Josiah King’s The Examination and Tryal of Father Christmas (1686)

Contrary to what many believe, Santa Claus as we know him today – sleigh riding, gift-giving, rotund and white bearded with his distinctive red suit trimmed with white fur – was not the creation of the Coca Cola Company. Although their Christmas advertising campaigns of the 1930s and 40s were key to popularising the image, Santa can be seen in his modern form decades before Coca Cola’s illustrator Haddon Sundblom got to work. Prior to settling on his famed red garb and jolly bearded countenance, throughout the latter half of the 19th century, Santa morphed through a variety of different looks. From the description given in Clement Moore’s A Visit from St Nicholas in 1822, through the vision of artist Thomas Nast, and later Norman Rockwell, Mr Claus gradually shed his various guises and became the jolly red-suited Santa we know today…

The illustrated story of St. Nick at “A Pictorial History of Santa Claus.”

* Calvin (Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes)


As we finish our letters, we might recall that it was on this date in 1913 that Arthur Wynne’s “word-cross,” the first crossword puzzle, was published in the New York World:

2-3.    What bargain hunters enjoy.        6-22.    What we all should be.
4-5.    A written acknowledgment.         4-26.    A day dream.
6-7.    Such and nothing more.                2-11.    A talon.
10-11.    A bird.                                            19-28.    A pigeon.
14-15.    Opposed to less.                           F-7.    Part of your head.
18-19.    What this puzzle is.                     23-30.    A river in Russia.
22-23.    An animal of prey.                      1-32.    To govern.
26-27.    The close of a day.                      33-34.    An aromatic plant.
28-29.    To elude.                                      N-8.    A fist.
30-31.    The plural of is.                           24-31.    To agree with.
8-9.    To cultivate.                                     3-12.    Part of a ship.
12-13.    A bar of wood or iron.                20-29.    One.
16-17.    What artists learn to do.            5-27.    Exchanging.
20-21.    Fastened.                                      9-25.    To sink in mud.
24-25.    Found on the seashore.             13-21.    A boy.
10-18.    The fibre of the gomuti palm.

solution (source)


Written by LW

December 21, 2016 at 1:01 am

“If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”*…


Your correspondent is headed into the chilly wilds for the Thanksgiving holiday, so this will be the last post until after the passing of the tryptophan haze.  By way of keeping readers amused in the meantime, the puzzle above…

Find a step-by-step guide to its answer at “How to Solve the Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever.”

* Tweedledee, in Lewis Caroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There


As we muddle in the excluded middle, we might recall that it was on this date in 1915 that Albert Einstein presented the Einstein Field Equations to the Prussian Academy of Sciences.  Einstein developed what was elaborated into a set of 10 equations to account for gravitation in the curved spacetime described in his General Theory of Relativity; they are used to determine spacetime geometry.

(German mathematician David Hilbert reached the same conclusion, and actually published the equation before Einstein– though Hilbert, who was a correspondent of Einstein’s, never suggested that Einstein’s credit was inappropriate.)

On the right side of the equal sign, the distribution of matter and energy in space; on the left, the geometry of the space, the so-called metric, a prescription for how to compute the distance between two points.



Written by LW

November 25, 2015 at 1:01 am

It’s a puzzle…

from xkcd

Your correspondent is off to the barbeque-banked shores of his childhood (where connectivity is at least sporadically available, but decidedly not the point), so these missives will recede in frequency until the 17th or 18th of August.  By way of keeping readers amused in the meantime…

Mindcipher is “the social repository of the world’s greatest brain teasers, logical puzzles and mental challenges.”  Readers can stop by to challenge themselves to logic puzzles, mathematical conundra, riddles, and all variety of brain busters.  By way of getting started, a garden-variety riddle:

Two archaeologists find a hidden cavern which they decide to explore.
Within the cavern they see a naked woman encased in ice.
The first archeologist says to the second, “Oh my God, I can’t believe we’ve discovered the Bible’s Eve.”
The second archeologist looks closer and says “Oh my God… you’re right!”
How do they know they’ve found Eve?

(While your correspondent knows that every reader flashed to the solution, he is format-bound to note that the answer is here.)


As we scratch our heads, we might send a coded birthday note to Margaretha Geertruida “Grietje” Zelle– better known by her stage name, Mata Hari; she was born on this date in 1876.  A circus equestrienne, artist’s model, exotic dancer, actress, and courtesan, she is best remembered as a spy.  While she claimed to be a double agent (working for both French and German Intelligence during World War I), she was arrested in Paris for her endeavors on behalf of the Kaiser, convicted, and executed by firing squad in 1917.

source: Mata-Hari.com

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Written by LW

August 7, 2009 at 12:01 am

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