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#1 2014-04-28 09:14:32

Catpurrson
Member
Registered: 2014-04-28
Posts: 3

Alphabet Spaghetti Puzzle - alternative solution(s)

Because this started with 'What letter of the alphabet"  I took it that after working out the first letter to occur 4 times was T, I was to count 5 letters after it in the alphabet, bringing me to Y, then count 8 letters back, bringing me to the answer Q. 

Re-reading it, after seeing your solution, I see it does say '5 letters after the 4th appearance of (t) in this sentence, which is, as you say, P.  That does render my above alternative invalid, but it still seems to me that the puzzle could be read as what letter comes 8 letters before P in the alphabet, which is the letter H.  So H seems just as valid an answer as the 8th letter before P in the sentence, which is R. 

Was this ambiguity intentional, to make it a trick question? 

What does anyone else think of my alternative reasoning?

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#2 2014-04-28 12:49:17

MathsIsFun
Administrator
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,535

Re: Alphabet Spaghetti Puzzle - alternative solution(s)

This is the puzzle: http://www.mathsisfun.com/puzzles/alpha … hetti.html

Maybe it could be worded better?


"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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#3 2014-04-28 23:07:13

phrontister
Real Member
From: The Land of Tomorrow
Registered: 2009-07-12
Posts: 3,847

Re: Alphabet Spaghetti Puzzle - alternative solution(s)

Hi MathsIsFun,

Yes, I agree with Catpurrson about the ambiguity.

This would fix it, I think:

Which letter in this sentence comes eight letters before the letter that comes five letters after the fourth appearance of the first letter to occur four times?


"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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#4 2014-05-02 15:50:31

phrontister
Real Member
From: The Land of Tomorrow
Registered: 2009-07-12
Posts: 3,847

Re: Alphabet Spaghetti Puzzle - alternative solution(s)

Hi MathsIsFun,

I didn't think to mention this, but the solution to my version differs from that of the original.

Also, the puzzle contains "fourth" and "four", and I wonder if while fixing the ambiguity problem it might be an idea to change one of those two similar words: eg, like this:

Which letter in this sentence comes eight letters before the letter that comes five letters after the third appearance of the first letter to occur four times?

That change stirs the spaghetti tangle a bit and gives the puzzler a little extra to think about. dizzy

Last edited by phrontister (2014-05-08 16:58:14)


"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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