Category Archives: Insight

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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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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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“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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David Justice and Derek Jeter were professional baseball players. In 1997 they had the following conversation:

David: Did you know that in both 1995 and 1996 I had better batting averages than you?

Derek: No way, my batting average over the last two years was definitely higher than yours!

It turned out that both of them were right. How is it possible?

This is the so called Simpson’s paradox. The reason it occurred is that during 1996 both players had high averages and Derek Jeter had many more hits than David Justice. In 1996 both players had low averages and David Justice had many more hits than Derek Jeter. You can see their official statistics below.

Player199519961995-1996
Derek Jeter12/48 (.250)183/582 (.314)
195/630 (.310)
David Justice104/411 (.253)45/140 (.321)149/551 (.270)
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There is a common 9-letter word in the English language, such that if you keep removing its letters one by one, the resulting 8 words are still valid. What is this word?

Remark: The removed letters do not need to be from the beginning or the end of the word.

The word is STARTLING -> STARTING -> STARING -> STRING -> STING -> SING -> SIN -> IN -> I.