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Apr 18

Rhombuses

A regular hexagon is split into small equilateral triangles and then the triangles are paired arbitrarily into rhombuses. Show that this results into three types of rhombuses based on orientation, with equal number of rhombuses from each type.

Color the rhombuses based on their type and imagine the diagram represents a structure of small cubes arranged in a larger cube. If you look at the large cube from three different angles, you will see exactly the three types of rhombuses on the diagram.

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Sep 29

Goodbye Maze

Escape from the START to END in this maze, created by Ben Uelk.

The solution is shown below.

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Sep 23

Unravel the Rope

Is it true that for every closed curve in the plane, you can use a rope to recreate the layout, so that the rope can be untangled?
Said otherwise, you have to determine at each intersection point of the closed curve, which of the two parts goes over and which one goes under, so that there aren’t any knots in the resulting rope.

Start from any point of the curve and keep moving along it, so that at each non-visited intersection you go over, until you get back to where you started from.

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Sep 21

0 > 2, 2 > 5, 5 > 0

0 > 2, 2 > 5, 5 > 0. What is this?

This is the game “Rock, Paper, Scissors”. Rock (0 fingers) beats scissors (2 fingers). Scissors (2 fingers) beats paper (5 fingers). Paper (5 fingers) beats rock (0 fingers).

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Sep 19

Four Points in the Plane

Find all configurations of four points in the plane, such that the pairwise distances between the points take at most two different values.

Coming soon.

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Sep 17

Petals Around the Rose

This is a puzzle which is best played with friends and real dice on a table. The rules require one of the players to throw 5 dice at once, and then answer correctly “how many petals there are around the rose”. The procedure gets repeated until everyone has discovered the secret rules of the puzzle or has given up.

How many throws do you need in order to figure out this classic puzzle?

There are 6 petals around the rose.

The roses are the middle dots on the dice, and the petals are the dots around them. Just count the number of all petals appearing on the five dice and you will get the answer. 1 -> 0, 2 -> 0, 3 -> 2, 4 -> 0, 5 - > 4, 6 -> 0.

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Sep 15

Puzzle at the End of the Book

“Puzzle at the End of the Book” is a very challenging puzzle from the 2017 MIT mystery hunt. The answer to this puzzle is a 6-letter word, related to a woman’s beauty. The solution is intricate and requires careful analysis of the book, some geeky references, and possibly a good amount of Google searching. Use the hints below if you need help with solving puzzle.

Source: MIT

Pay attention to the words in green. They form a riddle which needs to be answered.

Pay attention to the broken lines along the bubble speeches. Use an appropriate code to decode them.

Pay attention to the ship, the brick wall, the ladder, and the bucket. Use an appropriate code to decode them.

Pay attention to Grover’s arms. Use an appropriate code to decode them.

Pay attention to the fonts used for typing the words in red. Use their first letters to form a word.

Pay attention to the unusual words appearing in the text. Use parts of these words, combined with immediately preceding/succeeding parts of neighboring words, to get the names of six Pokemons. Use their first letters to form a word.

The names of the six muppets have the same lengths as the six words discovered from the previous steps. See which letters overlap if you compare each muppet name with its corresponding word. Arrange these letters to get the final answer.

The answer to this puzzle is MAKEUP.

In order to get to it, first you must find 6 secret fantasy related words.

1. The green words on the pages of the book form the sentence Wooden ship turned around before understanding sea monster (SIX). “Wooden ship” = ARK, “turned around” -> KRA, “understanding” = KEN, so we get KRAKEN, which is a sea monster with six letters.

2. The broken lines along the speech bubbles can be decoded using Morse code to spell Lilith, Morrigan, Scarlet, or Queen of Pain. These female demons give the secret word SUCCUBUS.

3. The ship, the brick wall, the ladder, and the bucket contain four hidden Brail letters, which spell out the word HUMA.

4. Grover’s arms encode through semaphore the Inuit mythological creature QALUPALIK.

5. The word “Puzzle” is written in five different fonts – Times New Roman, Impact, Twentieth Century, Arial, Nosifer. The first letters of these fonts form the word TITAN.

6. Each page from 2 to 8 contains some unusual words. Part of these words, combined with immediately preceding/succeeding parts of neighboring ones, give the six Pokemons Sandshrew, Pinsir, Ekans, Clefairy, Tentacruel, Eevee, Rapidash. Their first letters form the secret word SPECTER.

The names of the six muppets on the last page are Barkley, Donmusic, Elmo, Kermit, Misspigy, Oscar. They perfectly match in terms of length with the six secret words which we found above. Also, each pair of name with secret word overlap in just one position, the six resulting letters are E, U, M, K, P, A. If we arrange these letters with respect to the length of their corresponding words, we get the final answer MAKEUP.

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Sep 13

Eight Queens Puzzle

Rearrange the eight queens so that no two of them attack each other. For an extra challenge, make sure that no three of them lie on a straight line.

The original puzzle has 10 unique solutions, up to rotation and symmetry. With the additional restriction imposed, there is only one solution.