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Puzzlebomb – October 2013

Puzzlebomb LogoPuzzlebomb is a monthly puzzle compendium. Issue 22 of Puzzlebomb, for October 2013, can be found here:

Puzzlebomb – Issue 22 – October 2013

The solutions to Issue 22 can be found here:

Puzzlebomb – Issue 22 – October 2013 – Solutions

Previous issues of Puzzlebomb, and their solutions, can be found here.

Integer sequence puzzle in More or Less

More or Less, the BBC’s maths and statistics radio show, has been sneakily doing a puzzle on us for the last few weeks. The episodes in the series so far have each been ‘brought to you’, Sesame Street-style, by a different number. But what will the final episode be? Can you crack the integer code and solve the puzzle?

The puzzle was announced in the programme broadcast on the 27th of September; you can listen to it on the Radio 4 site or as a podcast (the puzzle bit is at 27:05). If you think you’ve solved the riddle, email More or Less through their website.

The episodes so far have been brought to you by the numbers 1, 49, 100, 784 and 1444. (It’s not in the OEIS; we’ve checked). You can find out if you’re right when the final episode in the series goes out, on BBC Radio 4 at 4.30pm on Friday 4th October.

More information

More or Less official website

More or Less in the BBC News Magazine

More or Less podcast

Contact More or Less

‘Low barrier, high ceiling’ and the Maths Arcade

I’ve been catching up with the TES Maths Podcast. I just listened to episode 7, towards the end of which guest Brian Arnold shares ‘the Frogs puzzle’. You probably know this, but if not Brian points to the NRICH interactive version which explains:

Imagine two red frogs and two blue frogs sitting on lily pads, with a spare lily pad in between them. Frogs can slide onto adjacent lily pads or jump over a frog; frogs can’t jump over more than one frog. Can we swap the red frogs with the blue frogs?

You know the one? You can play it with coins or counters or people. Anyway, host Craig Barton refers to this as “low barrier, high ceiling”, in that

anyone can do a few moves. So there’s your low barrier, but you can take that, the maths that that goes into! You can extend it to different numbers on either side, everything’s in there.

Much as I dislike the term because it sounds jargony, I realise it describes something I’ve been explaining all week.

Matt Parker’s Twitter Puzzle – 24th Sept

Matt’s at it again, posting puzzles on that Twitter:

Plus a clarification:

No spoilers in the comments please. Reply to Matt on Twitter!

Manchester MathsJam recap, August 2013

BSIXMx5IUAEYSqNThis month we had a few new faces, and plenty of regulars. We also had someone’s first MathsJam, and someone’s last (in the UK): Manchester regular Nicolette brought along her 6-week old baby Julia, who experienced her first recreational maths night in a pub, and by this time next month Nicolette will be back in her native New Zealand (obviously, setting up a new MathsJam there).

Manchester MathsJam recap, July 2013

This month we had a lovely MathsJam, with plenty of old and new faces and a disturbing quantity of activity related to black and white counters. I’d brought a big pile of them and some stuff to do with them, and we got cracking.