Thursday, April 30, 2009

NPR Sunday Puzzle (4/26/09) Solution

So here's what Ross said to me over the phone that helped me solve this puzzle:

Me: How'd you solve it?

Ross: I just wrote out all the equations. Oh, and we were right that Roman numerals are involved.

Me: {thinking} Oh. I get it.

fIVe = 4
seVen = 5
eIght = 1
twenty-sIX = 9

tweLVe = 55

Here's what we had thought about with this one: We knew it wasn't that old favorite, where the second value is the number of letters in the words for the first value. Five = 4 (letters), Seven = 5 (letters), etc., because although twenty-six is 9 letters, eight isn't 1 letter long. Next, the guy credited with this puzzle is from Argentina, so it's not somehow the numbers of letters in the Spanish word for the first value. (That's one of my puzzles from yesterday.) Also, although the use of 26 suggests an alphabet of some sort, it's not the Alpha Bravo . . . Zulu sequence. (That's the other puzzle from yesterday.)

That left Roman numerals. We fished around here, obviously, and I'd not seen it by the time I left on Monday morning for my overnighter to get all my CLE credits. But Ross has more stick-to-it-iveness than I do, and he saw that by writing out the first values as words and thinking about the second values as Roman numerals, you get there.

Such a clever man, my husband.

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