Problematics | Highs and lows in T20 cricket - Hindustan Times

Problematics | Highs and lows in T20 cricket

Jan 15, 2024 08:16 PM IST

Meet 10 players playing a tournament like the IPL. From the clues given, can you pair them into their respective teams and find out who scored how many runs?

I have always found the IPL less interesting for cricket than for the permutations and combinations it throws up. A lot of teams play each other twice, so many matches to go, so many remain, and who must defeat whom, and which team needs to depend on which other team to defeat which third team.

Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)
Welcome to Problematics!(Shutterstock)

One thing I may not have tried with the IPL before, but which I am trying now, is to construct an Einstein puzzle in that setting. This is only mildly challenging, but you hopefully enjoy solving it as much as I enjoyed creating it.

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#Puzzle 73.1


In a small country hosting a tournament among 10 teams along the lines of the IPL, five of the teams hire a batter each from two countries we may call Winland and Nothingland. These team names prove appropriate in the first game for each team, coincidentally playing one or the other among the remaining five teams.

Each player from Winland scores at least 100, and all five have different scores, but no one gets a really big score (it’s T20, after all), the top score being 104. The top score among their teammates from Nothingland, on the other hand, is 5. Again, all five scores are different. The only saving grace is that none of them gets out for a duck.

The Winland players are called Alvin, Brian, Clive, Gary and Viv. Those from Nothingland are Douglas, Fred, Geoff, Ian and Wall-E. Any resemblance to cricketers living or dead, as the format goes, is purely coincidental.

1. Winland’s Alvin, who scores 102, has Fred as his teammate from Nothingland.

2. Clive scores 103, while his Nothingland teammate scores exactly 100 less than that.

3. Brian’s teammate from Nothingland scores 5.

4. Among other recruits from Nothingland, Geoff is gloating because his score is 3 more than Wall-E’s score.

5. Wall-E’s score, incidentally, is 2, while Douglas manages 3, and Fred 4.

6. Viv’s teammate is Ian, an all-rounder.

7. Wall-E’s teammate is Gary, who scores 3 more than Viv.

Who is whose teammate, and who scored how many? Answers in a tabular format, please.


#Puzzle 73.2


Some letters written in capitals read the same upside down, such as I, while M and W turn into each other. A little book of puzzles tells me that there is only one English word that, when written in capitals, reads the same even after you turn it upside down.

It is not at all difficult to find that word. Once you do that, can you also confirm if the solution is unique as the book claims?




#Puzzle 72.1


Hi Kabir,

Let the number of chapters to be revised by N. Then the number of chapters revised on each day, the total number of chapters revised till that day and the number of chapters remaining will be as shown in the table.

Solution 72.1(Author)
Solution 72.1(Author)

The number of chapters remaining after the 7th day = 3N/16. This is given to be 15. Therefore, we get N = 80.

— Professor Anshul Kumar, Delhi

#Puzzle 72.2(Author)
#Puzzle 72.2(Author)

#Puzzle 72.2


Hi Kabir,

As there are four counters of blue only, we will start by putting them in the longest diagonal of four squares. Placing the other counters suitably will solve the puzzle as shown in the drawing.

— Anil Khanna, Ghaziabad


Solved both puzzles: Prof Anshul Kumar (Delhi), Anil Khanna (Ghaziabad), Group Captain RK Shrivastava (retired; Delhi), Akshay Bakhai (Mumbai), Dr Sunita Gupta (Delhi), Shri Ram Aggarwal (Delhi), YK Munjal (Delhi), Kanwarjit Singh (Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, retired)

Solved #Puzzle 72.2: Sundarraj C (Bengaluru), Ajay Ashok (Mumbai), Jaikumar Inder Bhatia & Disha Bhatia (Ulhasnagar, Thane), Vimpy Khosla

Problematics will be back next week. Please send in your replies by Friday noon to

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    Puzzles Editor Kabir Firaque is the author of the weekly column Problematics. A journalist for three decades, he also writes about science and mathematics.

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