Can you solve it? Nick Berry, data dude

Some sad information to report. Nick Berry, the British details scientist who wrote DataGenetics – one particular of the ideal and longest-managing maths popularisation blogs – has died aged 55 after a lengthy battle with most cancers.

Nick was a Yorkshireman who analyzed Aeronautical Engineering at Southampton college. He afterwards moved to Seattle, wherever he worked as a info scientist for firms which includes Microsoft and Fb. He started DataGenetics in 2009 and it shortly collected a massive pursuing for its available posts about appealing matters in maths, physics and laptop or computer science.

Nick had a fantastic eye for good subject matter make any difference, a reward for easy explication and a continual joy in the subject. He also favored a great puzzle. Today’s three issues are taken from his site, with permission.

1. No-zero heroes

Generate 1,000,000 as the product of two numbers neither of which incorporates any zeroes.

(You may well be fascinated to know that 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 = 1,000,000)

2. Lucy’s mystery selection

You are at a social gathering and overhear a conversation concerning Lucy and her good friend. In the dialogue, Lucy mentions she has a magic formula selection that is fewer than 100.

She also confesses the next details: “The number is uniquely describable by the answers to the pursuing 4 concerns:”

Q1) Is the amount divisible by two?
Q2) Is the number divisible by 3?
Q3) Is the number divisible by 5?
Q4) Is the amount divisible by seven?

She then proceeds to whisper the answers to these questions to her friend. Unfortunately, since of the ambient sounds at the party, you only listen to the response to one particular of the inquiries, which is ‘“yes.” What is Lucy’s solution quantity?

3. Naughty maths elves

I produce the full quantities from 1-9999 (inclusive) on a huge chalkboard. Every single number is penned when.

For the duration of the night the board is visited by a collection of naughty maths elves. Just about every elf strategies the board, selects two figures at random, erases them, and replaces them with a new variety that is the absolute variance of the two figures erased.

This vandalism proceeds all night until there is just just one selection remaining.

I return to the board the following morning and locate the one amount of the board. Is this remaining amount odd or even?

I’ll be back again with the responses and remedies at 5pm United kingdom

Remember to NO SPOILERS

(And if you do check out the Datagenetics website, which I advocate, really don’t glimpse straight absent at the responses to these puzzles!)

I set a puzzle below each and every two months on a Monday. I’m usually on the look-out for good puzzles. If you would like to propose one particular, e-mail me.

I give faculty talks about maths and puzzles (on the net and in particular person). If your faculty is interested make sure you get in contact.


  • Mathematics
  • Alex Bellos’s Monday puzzle
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