Friday, June 17, 2011

Off-Day Puzzle #4: Solution

Measured. Yeah, can't get this word in an organic context for the puzzle finale. The answer to yesterday's puzzle is Dave Roberts.

It's basically an addition table, except with letters. To fill in the blank part of the last limerick, you add the bolded part of the first 6 versions of the limerick, ignoring spaces - with the 6th line clearly being a plug to get the desired sum. This methodology was clued by the dollar amounts, which were bolded and summed accordingly (yes, I know the limericks themselves make no sense, but I wrote them in a dentist waiting room, and from a functional standpoint they were sufficient).

The trickiest part is figuring out how to add letters instead of numbers, which essentially required converting to base-26, although hopefully you didn't have to think of it exactly in those terms. And the trickiest part of the tricky part was figuring out how to carry excess digits to the next column.

The first step was to assign the letters A-Z the values 0-25, and then add them together just like you learned to add normal base-10 numbers together, which should have been as follows:

  1. Line up the numbers right-justified.
  2. Starting with the right-most 'ones' column, add up the digits.
  3. If the sum of the ones column is greater than 10 (or in the case of the limerick addition, above 'Z'), you put only the ones-place digit under the column and carry the tens-place digit to the top of the next column. In the case of the limerick addition, for example, the right-most column adds up to 'DS'. So we put the 'S' into the 'ones-place' column and carry the 'D' to the top of the next column (as indicated in the diagram below with the arrow).
  4. Then add up the next column over - the tens column - including the digit you carried over from the previous column, if any.

If you apply this same methodology to the bolded portion of the limerick and use base 26 with A=0, B=1...Z=25, you will get "DAVE ROBERTS". Your work should look something like:

Congratulations to ubragg, BCCSweet, Jason, Steve K, and Mr C. Updated rankings to post soon!

Next puzzle, Thursday, June 23, 7am!


Kyle Baker said...


Mr. LA Sports Czar said...

My work looks nothing like that.