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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 4,600

I'm probably too familiar with this puzzle, having tried it a few times over the years, but there's a fairly obvious opening move that I think needs to be made in order to get anywhere with it. Maybe I mentioned it in the 'great big hint' that I rubbed out - I don't recall now - but without that starting point I think the prospect of any progress would be pretty dim.

"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

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**bobbym****bumpkin**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 109,606

They are giving you z = 100?

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.**** Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.**

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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 4,600

Yes, an essential ingredient supplied by the otherwise not-so-helpful puzzle setter, just to make things easy for us.

That's not the 'obvious opening move' I referred to, though.

*Last edited by phrontister (2015-05-26 02:27:55)*

"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

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**bobbym****bumpkin**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 109,606

I have half of my wits and M, how tough can it be?

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.**** Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.**

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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 4,600

If I, who possesses only a fraction of half of your wits solved this puzzle with the lowly Excel instead of the mighty M, it can't be all that hard!

"The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do." - Ted Nelson

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**bobbym****bumpkin**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 109,606

You are darn right. Someone with my superior genetics and unparalleled education and upbringing should just breeze right through it.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.**** Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.**

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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 4,600

Exactly!!

The Listener Crossword magazine that published NOHOW in 1966 lists three prize winners who presumably submitted correct solutions: Dr P Stratfold (Leicester), D Aston (Cambridge) and E C Lance (Newcastle). I've always wondered how they solved it back then.

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**bobbym****bumpkin**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 109,606

Do not wonder, people were smarter back then. I know, I was there. If I would have died back then I would be smarter today too.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.**** Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.**

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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 4,600

If you died back then you'd indeed be a lot smarter today than the many stupid instigators of trouble in this troubled world, that's for sure.

*Last edited by phrontister (2015-05-26 03:34:48)*

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**bobbym****bumpkin**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 109,606

Yes, they polluted me with their weird ideas. Now I am weirder than any of them. pappym used to say that I was a walking encyclopedia - a derogatory term back then. He also said I was the "can't man," because I was always saying I can't do that. Come to think of it I do not think that fellow liked me much.

Anyway, there was a guy named Amthor who worked out the front digits to the Cattle of the Sun problem. Take a look at ole Fermat, guy did math in his spare time.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.**** Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.**

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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 4,600

You reminded me that the "Archimedes' cattle problem" was one of my first posts on MIF, back in 2009. That's nearly 6 years ago...has it really been that long?! I put a lot of time into that puzzle, but only got half way with it. It's just a distant memory now.

I'd better be off to bed now, Bobby...it's way past midnight again.

Catch you later.

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**bobbym****bumpkin**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 109,606

Okay, have a good night see you later.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.**** Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.**

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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 4,600

Hi Bobby,

I have...M, how tough can it be?

I thought I'd try to find out!

I've just finished coding what I think was the 'great big hint' that I'd given in post #7. At first I didn't think I could manage it, because NOHOW here at my house has spent all of its life in a spreadsheet, and my brain was stuck in that rut. I'll have to admit, too, that my code is somewhat LB-like.

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**bobbym****bumpkin**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 109,606

I was working on it and found a big hole in my thinking. Back to the drawing board...

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.**** Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.**

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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 4,600

I hope you don't fall into that hole...I wouldn't like to have to try and drag you out of it!

Cooking up the M code was interesting - and I'm glad I did it - but I think that it's harder in M to progress through the various stages of the puzzle than with a spreadsheet. I could be wrong there, of course.

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**bobbym****bumpkin**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 109,606

You should work with the right tool for the job. That may be Excel, I do not know because I have not solved it yet.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.**** Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.**

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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 4,600

The graphical rows & columns feature in Excel made it easy to link unsolved components to solved ones to obtain solutions for them and build on results, and I like the clarity of the layout that can so easily be achieved on the ready-made spreadsheet format.

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**bobbym****bumpkin**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 109,606

I do not yet know how to get M to do what I want. The exact commands, I do not know.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.**** Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.**

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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 4,600

For the first component - which is all I've done in M - I got M to give the same output as with Excel. It took a while to work out how to code it, but eventually I managed to get there...and I learnt some more M along the way.

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**bobbym****bumpkin**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 109,606

Very good then. You can always go from one language to another using the style you are used to. But when you begin to use the style the language was built for you do better.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.**** Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.**

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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 4,600

Would you like a hint, or is it a bit soon for that?

Maybe the whole world's waiting for one too, because they seem to have stalled on NOHOW from day one. That would be why I haven't heard from the whole world yet, I suppose.

Bed now...see you later.

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**bobbym****bumpkin**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 109,606

See you later, no hints. I did not even look at the one provided.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.**** Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.**

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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 4,600

Ah, good! I was hoping you'd say that. To succeed in solving a puzzle on one's own is so much more rewarding.

On occasion I've sought for a hint on a puzzle when thinking I was totally stuck, got one, and regretfully discovered that with a bit more stickability I would've got there.

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**bobbym****bumpkin**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 109,606

I will probably be stuck really soon.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.**** Always satisfy the Prime Directive of getting the right answer above all else.**

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**phrontister****Real Member**- From: The Land of Tomorrow
- Registered: 2009-07-12
- Posts: 4,600

Only if you "spend a little time each day on it".

*Last edited by phrontister (2015-05-28 15:17:26)*

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