The power of the Internet and the nocturnal nature of my friends is amazing sometimes. After posting my last blog post with the mind teasers, I’ve had four friends IM me and one colleague / friend twitter me in regards to the post. Seems I am not the only one fascinated by these puzzles.
After discussing the second puzzle with Terry Chay a bit, he said the magic phrase which made it all click to me (funnily enough, he hasn’t solved it himself yet). I won’t spoil it for those who are still working on the puzzle, but I can now say Ben/Henri/I were going in the total wrong direction there in the end. I’ll give one clue which might or might not help you (something we didn’t find the value in earlier, but proved to be important in solving the problem).
Given the fact you are selecting five cards and there are only four suits, you are always guaranteed to have at least two cards in a single suit.
I also solved the first one on my own (aka without talking it over with others via IM) and Chris was right, it was pretty easy once you thought about it the right way. I looked up the card trick one on the net to insure I was right and learned it’s actually a combinatory mathematics question. Pretty kewl seeing the math behind the problem and why it’s significant as a question.
One last thing, to the point of the Internet never ceasing to amaze me. Jeff Standen (ex-boss and co-founder of WebGroup Media w/ Ben) IM’d me and said he did a Google search for the answer to my first puzzle and said I was the second listing in Google. This is utterly amazing on two counts, first that it is in Google in less than an hour (this is just my lowly blog after all) and my blog also just happens to be the number two entry (again, since when was my blog important).
I now feel like I can sleep in peace knowing I have solved both problems. Good thing, as I need to be up early in the morning. Tomorrow is the last day my car will be silver for a long time (more to come in a future blog post).