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Problematics | Catch me if you can, with luck or skill

Published on Jun 05, 2023 03:16 PM IST

Probability puzzles sometimes appear more complex than they actually are. This one is deceptively simple.

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)

Problematics | Vizag to Kolkata, via an equilateral triangle

A point lies inside an equilateral triangle. If you know the distance of the point from each of the three vertices, what is the side of the triangle?

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Published on May 29, 2023 04:43 PM IST

Problematics | Go with or against the flow and keep it simple

Here's a puzzle that's not as difficult as it may seem. Can you solve it with calculations on relative velocity? Or is there a simpler way?

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Updated on May 22, 2023 02:24 PM IST

WEIRD SCIENCE | Did you know robots can’t use their hands the way humans do?

Bio-engineering is yet to solve for dexterity for robots. Sure, science fiction predicts the future, and they’ll take over the earth some day. Just not yet.

One of the best-known humanoid robots, Nadine is modelled on her creator, Professor Nadia Magnenat Thalmann. A grasping algorithm allows her to see and recognise some objects, like bottles, and grasp them, but she can't work out how to hold new shapes that she doesn't recognise.
(Nadia Magnenat Thalmann, MIRALab)
Published on May 20, 2023 02:13 PM IST

Problematics | A classic remix of old milk in new bottle

What is there more of, milk in the glass of water, or water in the bottle of milk? Try to keep it simple.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Updated on May 15, 2023 04:05 PM IST

Problematics | 6 men from 6 cities: who gets the job?

This one belongs to a family that we call Einstein puzzles. I have adapted my 1993 original just a little bit, for 2023 readers.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Updated on May 08, 2023 05:45 PM IST

Problematics | How to multiply, and why it works

This week, we try a different multiplication method and a puzzle including substitution and addition. Good luck!

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Published on May 01, 2023 01:59 PM IST

Problematics | Cat-and-mouse games and betting strategies

A puzzle made from a Russian original, involving cats and mice, and another from betting at a casino, involving wins and losses. Good luck!

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Published on Apr 24, 2023 03:34 PM IST

Problematics | A magic square, but not the kind everyone knows

This week, we have a one-of-its-kind magic square and a math problem. Good luck!

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Updated on Apr 17, 2023 04:48 PM IST

Problematics | Games people play with sets of matches

This week, I bring you two puzzles: One involves a game from the past and the other, a sneak peek into a part of my day. Good luck!

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Updated on Apr 10, 2023 06:02 PM IST

The market for Picassos may be about to turn

After a long bull run, the man and the artist are being re-evaluated

Pablo Picasso
Updated on Apr 06, 2023 05:46 PM IST
The Economist

Problematics | A trick that works, an equation that doesn’t

This week, we bring to you a party trick with a (slightly) lengthy description and a strange equation of 1s and 0s. Good luck!

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Published on Apr 03, 2023 12:35 PM IST

Problematics | Swimmers’ meetings and Asimov’s pretty numbers

This week, we have challenging puzzles, one involving speed and distance and the other, a list by Isaac Asimov, giving both our puzzles a touch of unusualness. Good luck!

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Published on Mar 27, 2023 02:12 PM IST

Problematics | A password to puzzles with Jamie Lee Curtis

On December 19, 2022, I invited you to crack my password to the account where I store my puzzles. Since you did, I had to change my password for security reasons — and I used JAMIE LC for inspiration. Here are #Week30's puzzles.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Updated on Mar 20, 2023 01:44 PM IST

Problematics | Rubik’s colours and Pythagorean triples

This week's puzzles include a mischievous child, a Rubik's cube, and the Pythagorean triangle. Good luck!

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Published on Mar 15, 2023 10:12 AM IST

Problematics | In the name of Einstein, match the following

Creating a full-length Einstein puzzle, I found, can be an exhausting but ultimately rewarding exercise. Here you go.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Published on Mar 06, 2023 03:54 PM IST

Problematics | The price of mixing apples and oranges

It may be fine to compare apples with oranges, but you should be wary about mixing the two, except perhaps in a fruit salad. Here’s why.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Updated on Feb 28, 2023 08:45 AM IST

Problematics | Untold story about a hare and a tortoise

This week, one of the two puzzles may include some information you don’t really need. Good luck!

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Published on Feb 20, 2023 01:09 PM IST

Problematics | A gift for packing things correctly

This week’s puzzles are somewhat less challenging, but interesting nevertheless. It is, incidentally, a landmark week of sorts: the 25th in an unbroken series of puzzling weeks.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Updated on Feb 14, 2023 08:05 AM IST

Problematics | Playing cards, words and a classroom game

Have you ever created something, like a poem or a word game, only to find that someone else has created something similar? This week's puzzles are one of those.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Updated on Feb 10, 2023 09:04 AM IST

Problematics | More tricks to play on impressionable friends

Welcome to week 23 of Problematics! Here are this week's puzzles, admittedly not my own.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jan 30, 2023 04:57 PM IST

Problematics | The puzzling truth about cats and dogs

For any Monday’s puzzles, please send in your solutions by noon on Friday the same week. This will also be mentioned in the footnote every week. Let's get solving!

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Published on Jan 23, 2023 07:04 PM IST

Problematics | Think of a number, repeat and recycle

This week's fare is relatively simple, although the puzzles are not exactly sitters.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Published on Jan 17, 2023 03:43 PM IST

Problematics | Watch your hands and how they move

Ignore the second hand and concern yourselves only with the hour and minute hands. Like last week’s Christmas tree puzzle, this one too comes from something I had presented to readers 30 years ago.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Published on Jan 10, 2023 03:34 PM IST

How long does it take to set up an Xmas tree?

I felt the puzzle would work better if I adapted it for readers who are three decades younger. I have changed the form of the original but retained the content.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Published on Jan 02, 2023 01:24 PM IST

Problematics | The mathematics of planning a family

Here's week 18 of Problematics.

Here's week 18 of Problematics.
Updated on Dec 26, 2022 03:13 PM IST

Problematics | A puzzler’s guide to matchmaking

Here's week 17 of Problematics.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Updated on Dec 20, 2022 02:40 PM IST

Problematics | Flight of fancy: Around the world in how many days?

When someone identifies an error in someone else’s puzzle, it is called “cooking” the puzzle. Here's a simplified adaptation for readers of Problematics!

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Updated on Dec 12, 2022 05:24 PM IST

Problematics | Which game is smarter, poker or teen patti?

The Hollywood caper The Sting (1973) includes a memorable depiction of a poker game, in which a lot of cheating is going on. This too is about poker, and the rules of the game now may help you warm up for The Sting later.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Updated on Dec 06, 2022 09:07 AM IST

Problematics | How the crow flies between World Cup football fans

The football World Cup provides the ideal occasion to release a puzzle that I had so far been holding on to. It’s not about football, but involves fans of the game. And it’s not extremely difficult, but it’s fun when you figure out how to solve it.

Welcome to Problematics! (Shutterstock)
Published on Nov 28, 2022 01:25 PM IST
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