Sunday, January 3, 2010

NPR Puzzle: 1/3/10 A Date for Two Operators

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Write down the digits from 2 to 7, in order. Add two mathematical symbols to get an expression equaling 2010. What symbols are these?
And here's the confession:  We've managed it with three operators, but not (yet) with two.

{Brief interlude while we eat breakfast.}

Okay, that was easy -- Ross solved it just by noodling around with the numbers.  I was on my way to getting it, but had taken a break to go out (through the snow drifts) to the car for my prescription, which I'd stupidly left in the glove compartment.  (Hey, it's my goofy reason, and I'm sticking to it.)

And, in case you were wondering, the numbers to the left are in Welsh. I had to laugh when I found this picture in Flickr -- my brother nicknamed my mother's dog "Pedwar" because a) he thought the number sounded stupid in Welsh, and b) he thought the dog was stupid too. Brothers...

Supposedly there is (or was) a wicked wind and commensurate low wind chill, but we're toasty warm in front of the wood stove.  This is a perfect snapshot of our life here in the country:  Ross can fell sufficient trees, buck them, split them, stack them in the barn, transport them (using a gas-powered wagon) to the house and keep the wood stove stoked and running 24-7, but when he wants to program the DVR to record today's Eagles-Cowboys game, he's defeated by the fact that our local Fox affiliate is WOLF.  He'd even looked it up on the Internet and still couldn't manage to get it right.  "I knew I needed to look for Fox but didn't realize I needed to look for a WOLF..."

No matter which football game you watch, I hope your team wins!  See you Thursday.

9 comments:

Crossword Man said...

American TV is more complicated than British TV - lots more channels, though I gather they have been catching up in the UK. When I grew up, there were three channels: BBC1, BBC2 and ITV; then Channel 4 came along and finally Channel 5. Five channels is the max I consider worth studying when it comes to TV.

Dan said...

Kind of lost w/o the software, eh?

henry.blancowhite said...

Compare the Latin Quattuor and Quinque with the Welsh Pedwar and Pump. That is the difference between a P-Celt and a Q-Celt.

I also easily got the solution with three operators but I do not yet have the solution with only two.

Magdalen said...

Dan -- Oh, you cynical man! We can always solve these puzzles the "old-fashioned way." (At least I think we can...) But that would take longer, and then you and Roxie would miss us!

Henry -- I should tell Dan (my brother Dan, not the previous commenter Dan) that about the Welsh vs. Latin thing. Maybe I'll just send him the link...

Dan said...

Just kidding. I got it in less than 40 minutes. It seemed pretty obvious.

Dan said...

Interestingly enough, I cannot seem to get it with 3 operators, yet many people have claimed to have done such in more than one way.

Paul Keller said...

I have it in two, but repeated a digit. Is that necessary and within the rules?

Crossword Man said...

Hi Paul. No, we've done it with just the single digits 2 3 4 5 6 7, in sequence. We didn't think it obvious, but got the answer with a little perseverance.

Paul Keller said...

A little perseverance, as you say. Knowing the answer was still out there + two minutes was all I needed. Thanks!