I dare you to solve this.
Moderators: jestingrabbit, Moderators General, Prelates
 debuggingRL
 Posts: 18
 Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 1:12 am UTC
 skeptical scientist
 closedminded spiritualist
 Posts: 6142
 Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:09 am UTC
 Location: San Francisco
Yeah, good puzzle. I could deduce most of it, but at the end I had to resort to guesswork.
I'm looking forward to the day when the SNES emulator on my computer works by emulating the elementary particles in an actual, physical box with Nintendo stamped on the side.
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
 skeptical scientist
 closedminded spiritualist
 Posts: 6142
 Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:09 am UTC
 Location: San Francisco
Well, at one point I had one question where I figured one answer was extremely unlikely, because it would put a very strict constraint on solving the rest of the puzzle without seeming possible, but I didn't actually prove it, and then I got down to the last three questions, and I just tried various combinations until one worked.
I'm looking forward to the day when the SNES emulator on my computer works by emulating the elementary particles in an actual, physical box with Nintendo stamped on the side.
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
 skeptical scientist
 closedminded spiritualist
 Posts: 6142
 Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:09 am UTC
 Location: San Francisco
I dare you to solve this:
http://www.drunkmenworkhere.org/129
http://www.drunkmenworkhere.org/129
I'm looking forward to the day when the SNES emulator on my computer works by emulating the elementary particles in an actual, physical box with Nintendo stamped on the side.
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
 skeptical scientist
 closedminded spiritualist
 Posts: 6142
 Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:09 am UTC
 Location: San Francisco
 Cosmologicon
 Posts: 1806
 Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:47 am UTC
 Location: Cambridge MA USA
 Contact:
 Cosmologicon
 Posts: 1806
 Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:47 am UTC
 Location: Cambridge MA USA
 Contact:
I had a similar experience; I'd solved this puzzle previously (about 5 years ago) and it took quite a long time, even though I was working with a friend and we each contributed equally toward finding the solution. Doing it again earlier this afternoon, I breezed through it, although I am confident that I had no specific knowledge (whether it be conscious or subconscious) of the answers nor even any recollection of the questions themselves (such as which types of questions would turn out to be most pivotal toward discovering the solution). Upon reflection, I identify two factors as possibly contributing to being fast the second time around.Cosmologicon wrote:I did the OP's puzzle about 10 years ago, and it took me a while. But when I did it this time, I was able to breeze through it. Can anyone figure out why?
The first factor is what I would tend to classify as random/coincidence/luck. Basically, this time around, I found myself using one particular method of reasoning quite a bit (possible spoiler):
Spoiler:
The other factor which would tend to allow me to be faster this time around would be a sort of subconsious metareasoning. I know that the puzzle has a solution, and I know that it took a long time to solve the first time. Perhaps from these facts I subconsiously reasoned that I would likely solve it quicker by attempting lines of reasoning that went against my instincts. For example, perhaps I was subconsiously thinking things like "Oh, that's just the sort of thing I probably tried doing last time; remember how long it took? Try something else!"
 Cosmologicon
 Posts: 1806
 Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:47 am UTC
 Location: Cambridge MA USA
 Contact:
Re: I dare you to solve this.
Arkohn wrote:http://www.drunkmenworkhere.org/170
There's a very nice little property the final solution has which makes it further selfreferrential. If you know what the property is it makes solving it much easier.
 skeptical scientist
 closedminded spiritualist
 Posts: 6142
 Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:09 am UTC
 Location: San Francisco
Re: I dare you to solve this.
JoshuaZ wrote:Arkohn wrote:http://www.drunkmenworkhere.org/170
There's a very nice little property the final solution has which makes it further selfreferrential. If you know what the property is it makes solving it much easier.
If you're referring to the property cosmo pointed out, I don't see how that's selfreferential...?
I'm looking forward to the day when the SNES emulator on my computer works by emulating the elementary particles in an actual, physical box with Nintendo stamped on the side.
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
Re: I dare you to solve this.
skeptical scientist wrote:JoshuaZ wrote:Arkohn wrote:http://www.drunkmenworkhere.org/170
There's a very nice little property the final solution has which makes it further selfreferrential. If you know what the property is it makes solving it much easier.
If you're referring to the property cosmo pointed out, I don't see how that's selfreferential...?
No. I didn't even know about that property, there's something else.
Answer:
Spoiler:
 skeptical scientist
 closedminded spiritualist
 Posts: 6142
 Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:09 am UTC
 Location: San Francisco
Re: I dare you to solve this.
JoshuaZ wrote:No. I didn't even know about that property, there's something else.
I still don't see what's selfreferential about that  it's certainly an unexpected property of the solution, but not one which the test itself references in any way I noticed, and not one which embodies some property of the test.
I'm looking forward to the day when the SNES emulator on my computer works by emulating the elementary particles in an actual, physical box with Nintendo stamped on the side.
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
"With math, all things are possible." —Rebecca Watson
Re: I dare you to solve this.
skeptical scientist wrote:JoshuaZ wrote:No. I didn't even know about that property, there's something else.
I still don't see what's selfreferential about that  it's certainly an unexpected property of the solution, but not one which the test itself references in any way I noticed, and not one which embodies some property of the test.
At least in the United States there is a cliche about when in doubt answering "C" and before they used computers to randomly assign answer numbers many test types actually had disproportionate quantities of answers that were that letter. So it is making fun of standardized test cliches in general.
Solved it without guessing... perhaps an hour? hour and a half? didn't measure.
Also failed to notice all the neat properties people are now pointing out.
Also failed to notice all the neat properties people are now pointing out.
So, I got tired of the fact that the appearance of my band name in my signature made my posts on this forum the dominant result when googling for my music. Anyway, if you think I might happen to be a good musician, you can test this theory here.

 Posts: 14
 Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:57 pm UTC

 Posts: 634
 Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:19 am UTC
 Location: Columbia, SC, USA
 Contact:
the first puzzle is kind of like this one:
http://math.cofc.edu/MATHMEET/truthsprint.pdf
http://math.cofc.edu/MATHMEET/truthsprint.pdf
apeman5291 wrote:the first puzzle is kind of like this one:
http://math.cofc.edu/MATHMEET/truthsprint.pdf
What tools were you allowed to use? I'll admit to using a list of the primes and a prime factor program.
Spoiler:
http://www.drunkmenworkhere.org/129
As most people already figured out, this is generally unsolvable. I can't rigorously prove that it never has a feasible solution, but I ran a few of the matrices through an assignment problem solver, and for a given matrix, any choice will yield the exact same number (the maximum and minimum possible values are equal). All the matrices that yield the same number can be gotten by performing row or column swaps on another matrix that yields the number. Maybe there's an instance that adds up to 100, but I'd doubt it.
As most people already figured out, this is generally unsolvable. I can't rigorously prove that it never has a feasible solution, but I ran a few of the matrices through an assignment problem solver, and for a given matrix, any choice will yield the exact same number (the maximum and minimum possible values are equal). All the matrices that yield the same number can be gotten by performing row or column swaps on another matrix that yields the number. Maybe there's an instance that adds up to 100, but I'd doubt it.
 Cosmologicon
 Posts: 1806
 Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:47 am UTC
 Location: Cambridge MA USA
 Contact:
Fiddly wrote:http://www.drunkmenworkhere.org/129
As most people already figured out, this is generally unsolvable. I can't rigorously prove that it never has a feasible solution, but I ran a few of the matrices through an assignment problem solver, and for a given matrix, any choice will yield the exact same number (the maximum and minimum possible values are equal). All the matrices that yield the same number can be gotten by performing row or column swaps on another matrix that yields the number. Maybe there's an instance that adds up to 100, but I'd doubt it.
Subtract the minimum of each row from all entries in that row; after this it should be clear why your choices don't matter.
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests