ReferencesAn archive of questions and answers that may be of interest to puzzle enthusiasts.
Question 1 - books/bloopers:
What are some errors made in puzzle books? Show Answer
Charles W. Trigg, Mathematical Quickies, Dover, 1985, #93
Angela Dunn, ed., Mathematical Bafflers, Dover, 1980, p. 112
David Wells, The Penguin Book of Curious and Interesting Puzzles, Penguin,
1992, #373 & #554
Question 2 - books/masquerade:
What is the solution to _Masquerade_ by Kit Williams? Show Answer
The original book:
_Masquerade_ by Kit Williams, Jonathan Cape, London, 1979
The answer book:
_Masquerade The Complete Book with the Answer Explained_ by Kit Williams,
Jonathan Cape, London, 1982
The whole story:
_The Quest for the Golden Hare_ by Bamber Gascoigne, Jonathan Cape,
_Masquerade_ contains fifteen very detailed one- or two-page paintings rendered in the fantastic style typical of a high quality children's book, together with a dreamy story containing characters such as Jack Hare, Tara Tree-tops and the Lady Moon. Most of the very lifelike people in the paintings are actual friends of Mr. Williams. This book set off a frenzy of solving activity unequalled by any subsequent book, even though its imitators offered much higher prizes, culminating in the $500,000 of the book _Treasure_ with puzzle by Paul Hoffman (a.k.a. Dr. Crypton).
The solution to Masquerade is simplicity itself, and is fully in keeping with the nature of the book: namely, a picture book. First of all, the text has nothing to do with it; the pictures alone contain the answer. Secondly, the answer is literally pointed to by the pictures. Each picture is bordered by letters, which is a dead giveaway since the letters have no reason for being there if they are not part of the puzzle. By drawing a line from the eyes of the various creatures in the pictures, through their longest fingers, biggest toes, etc., and extending to the bordering letters, this message is found:
CATHERINES LONG FINGER OVER SHADOWS EARTH BURIED YELLOW AMULET MIDDAY POINTS THE HOUR IN LIGHT OF EQUINOX LOOK YOU.
The first letter from each page spells:
CLOSE BY AMPTHILL
This method of solution is hinted to on the title page with the rhyme:
To solve the hidden riddle, you must use your eyes,
And find the hare in every picture that may point you to the prize.
Armed with this information, it is a simple matter to discover that there is a statue of Catherine of Aragon in a public park near the village of Ampthill. By doing a little amateur astronomy, the exact spot pointed to by the statue's long finger can be determined without waiting for the equinox. Beneath this spot was the treasure, a golden hare. The book also contains a number of confirming clues.
_Quest_ chronicles some of the amazingly far-fetched approaches taken by Masqueraders. Mr. Gascoigne, a respected author on the arts, accompanied Mr. Williams the night he buried the treasure. He also read the tens of thousands of letters received by Mr. Williams. The hare was found three years after the book was published by a shadowy figure with pseudonym Ken Thomas. Mr. "Thomas" found the hare by researching Mr. Williams' life, going to places that he had lived, and doing a lot of digging with the occasional help of some of the confirming clues. Two British physicists did finally solve the puzzle with the help of a hint published by Mr. Williams in the Sunday Times, but they were a little too late.
After the announcement that the hare was unearthed, many fanatical Masqueraders tried to prove that their approaches could lead to the correct solution. For example, someone discovered that the word "thill" means a fleck of paint (according to some obscure dictionary), and he thought he saw an inexplicable fleck of paint in each painting. He also thought he saw the word "amp" hidden in each painting. For example, in one picture a girl is floating in the air above houses. And a volt (vault) over an ohm (home) is an amp. Mr. Gascoigne summarizes his observations thus:
Tens of thousands of letters from Masqueraders have convinced me that the human mind has an equal capacity for pattern-matching and self-deception. While some addicts were busy cooking the riddle, others were more single-mindedly continuing their own pursuit of the hare quite regardless of the news that it had been found. Their own theories had come to seem so convincing that no exterior evidence could refute them. These most determined of Masqueraders may grudgingly have accepted that a hare of some sort was dug up at Ampthill, but they believed there would be another hare, or a better solution, awaiting them at their favourite spot. Kit would expect them to continue undismayed by the much publicised diversion at Ampthill and would be looking forward to the day when he would greet them as the real discoverers of the real puzzle of Masquerade. Optimistic expeditions were still setting out, with shovels and maps, throughout the summer of 1982.
Question 3 - books/maze:
What is the solution to _Maze_ by Christopher Manson? Show Answer
In room 29, a door to room 17 is hidden to look like a table. Using this door this 16-step tour exists: 1 26 30 42 4 29 17 45 23 8 12 39 4 15 37 20 1.
The riddle of room 45 remains to be solved.
Question 4 - books/treasure:
What is the solution to _Treasure_ by Dr. Crypton? Show Answer
"Treasure" was a puzzle by Dr. Crypton (Paul Hoffman) released simultaneously in 1984 as a book, a videotape and a laserdisk. The book and video versions include a number of mysterious pictures and images connected by a loose plot involving the theft of a golden horse. The 1-kilo golden horse itself was buried, and the mysterious images were supposed to give instructions on how to find it. The lucky winners would get the golden horse and $500,000. The clues were interesting and obscure; it was impossible to tell which of the puzzles were relevant to the solution and which weren't. Enough of them were sort of solvable to give people hope that they were on the right track. For example, some clues written on an umbrella gave the birth and death years of Mary, Queen of Scots; and a chess game turned out to be identifiable as Anderssen vs. Kieseritzky, the "Shower of Gold" game. Evidently neither of these observations was relevant to the solution in the end.
It was alleged that during the production of the video enough people were let in on the secret that the location had to be changed... but that very little of the puzzle was changed to reflect the new location.
Nobody solved the puzzle in time -- i.e. by midnight of 26 May 1989. The horse was dug up by the promoters and the prize donated to a charity: Big Brothers and Sisters of America. However, the promoters and Dr. Crypton refused to make the solution public. Seven months later two men, Nick Boone and Anthony Castaneda, went to Tennessee Pass in Colorado and dug up a vial with congratulations inside. They wrote a description of their thought processes that left other frustrated treasure-seekers suspicious and annoyed: their "solution" appeared to be motivated very little by anything in the puzzle itself, so that it seemed apparent to many that they were virtually guided to that location by the promoters. This suspicion has not been confirmed or denied.
Question 5 - books/unnamed:
What is the solution to the unnamed book by Kit Williams? Show Answer
The title is "The Bee on the Comb."
In the first picture, there are two "hybrid" animals, one half-mouse, half-horse, the other half-cat, half-toad. If you've read "Masquerade", the drawings remind you of the circle of animals in one of the pictures in that book, and there's even a footnote there explaining the names of the animals in that picture. Using the same reasoning, the two animals in "The Bee on the Comb" ought to be called a "morse" and a "coad". So the obvious conclusion is that this is a clue indicating that Morse code is involved. The Morse code is around the frame of the gardening picture, and spells out "All animals are equal in a tale of tail to tail, end to end to end." This is the same message that is around the picture in "Masquerade."
Each picture in "The Bee on the Comb" contains a hidden animal. Ignore all the naturalistic animals: you're looking just for one animal hidden in some visually punning way. For example, in the first picture, there's a parrot hidden in the young man's vest--turn the page upside down and the leaves pictured on his vest become the parrot's feathers.
If you write down all fifteen hidden animals and take their last letters, "end to end to end", it spells out "The Bee on the Comb". I recall that we found the hidden animal in the picture on the kitchen (the one with the box of Oxo cubes on the mantel) particularly difficult to find, though I expect that'll vary from person to person. The hidden animals are wonderfully cleverly hidden. Oh, and the animal ending in C is rather obscure; I think we had to figure out its name only after we'd figured out the title of the book and knew it ended in C.
If you count the number of bees in each picture and convert it to letters, using A = 1, B = 2, etc., you get "Bees Only Sting". By looking at the honeycomb that obscures the title on the cover, you can see how many letters the words in the title contain, and "Bees Only Sting" does not work.
There's at least one other indication that the bees are a red herring. The fourth line from the end of the text reads "the bees they are of little consequence". I'm not positive that this isn't a coincidence, but it sure looks like it might be a message to ignore the bees.
Question 6 - faq:
Where should I look if I can't find the answer here? Show Answer
FAQs are available via ftp from rtfm.mit.edu.
Sci.Physics is an unmoderated newsgroup dedicated to the discussion of physics, news from the physics community, and physics-related social issues. People from a wide variety of non-physics backgrounds, as well as students and experts in all areas of physics participate in the ongoing discussions on sci.physics. Professors, industrial scientists, graduate students, etc., are all on hand to bring physics expertise to bear on almost any question. But the only requirement for participation is interest in physics, so feel free to post -- but before you do, please do the following:
This Frequently Asked Questions List is posted monthly, at or near the first of the month, to the Usenet newsgroup sci.physics in an attempt to provide good answers to frequently asked questions and other reference material which is worth preserving. If you have corrections or answers to other frequently asked questions that you would like included in this posting, send E-mail to email@example.com (Scott I. Chase).
Index of Subjects
1. An Introduction to Sci.Physics
2. Gravitational Radiation
3. Energy Conservation in Cosmology and Red Shift
4. Effects Due to the Finite Speed of Light
5. The Top Quark
7. Special Relativistic Paradoxes
(a) The Barn and the Pole
(b) The Twin Paradox
8. The Particle Zoo
9. Olbers' Paradox
10. What is Dark Matter?
11. Hot Water Freezes Faster than Cold!
12. Which Way Will my Bathtub Drain?
13. Why are Golf Balls Dimpled?
14. Why do Mirrors Reverse Left and Right?
15. What is the Mass of a Photon?
16. How to Change Nuclear Decay Rates
17. Baryogenesis - Why Are There More Protons Than Antiprotons?
18.*Time Travel - Fact or Fiction?
19.*The Nobel Prize for Physics
20. Open Questions
21. Accessing and Using Online Physics Resources
This is a list of frequently asked questions for sci.math (version 3.5). Any contributions/suggestions/corrections are most welcome. Please use * e-mail * on any comment concerning the FAQ list.
Changes of version will be important enough to deserve reading the FAQ list again. Additions are marked with a # on the table of contents. Still you may kill all versions of FAQ using the * wildcard. (Ask your local unix guru for ways to do so). The FAQ is available via ftp in rtfm.mit.edu (126.96.36.199).
The list of contributors to this FAQ list is to large to include here; but thanks are due to all of them (you know who you are folks).
Table of Contents
1Q.- Fermat's Last Theorem, status of ..
2Q.- Four Colour Theorem, proof of ..
3Q.- Values of Record Numbers
4Q.- General Netiquette
5Q.- Computer Algebra Systems, application of ..
6Q.- Computer Algebra Systems, references to ..
7Q.- Fields Medal, general info ..
8Q.- 0^0=1. A comprehensive approach ..
9Q.- 0.999... = 1. Properties of the real numbers ..
10Q.- Digits of Pi, computation and references ..
11Q.- There are three doors, The Monty Hall problem ..
12Q.- Surface and Volume of the n-ball
13Q.- f(x)^f(x)=x, name of the function ..
14Q.- Projective plane of order 10 ..
15Q.- How to compute day of week of a given date ....
16Q.- Axiom of Choice and/or Continuum Hypothesis?
17Q.- Cutting a sphere into pieces of larger volume
18Q.- Pointers to Quaternions
This is the sci.skeptic FAQ. It is intended to provide a factual base for most of the commonly discussed topics on sci.skeptic. Unfortunately I don't have much time to do this in, and anyway a FAQ should be the Distilled Wisdom of the Net rather than just My Arrogant Opinion, so I invite submissions and let all the net experts out there fill in the details. Submissions from any point of view and on any sci.skeptic topic are welcomed, but please keep them short and to the point. The ideal submission is a short summary with one or two references to other literature. I have added comments in square brackets where I think more information is particularly needed, but don't let that stop you sending something else.
0.1: What is sci.skeptic for?
0.2: What is sci.skeptic not for?
0.3: What is CSICOP? Whats their address? +
0.4: What is "Prometheus"?
0.5: Who are some prominent skeptics? +
0.6: Aren't all skeptics just closed-minded bigots?
0.7: Aren't all paranormalists just woolly-minded fools?
0.8: What is a "conspiracy theory"?
The Scientific Method
1.1: What is the scientific method?
1.2: What is the difference between a fact, a theory and a hypothesis?
1.3: Can science ever really prove anything?
1.4: If scientific theories keep changing, where is the Truth?
1.5: What evidence is needed for an extraordinary claim?
1.6: What is Occam's Razor?
1.7: Galileo was persecuted, just like researchers into
1.8: What is the "Experimenter effect".
1.9: How much fraud is there in science? *
1.9.1: Did Mendel fudge his results? *
2.1: Is Uri Geller for real? *
2.2: I have had a psychic experience. +
2.3: What is "sensory leakage"?
2.4: Who are the main psi researchers? +
2.5: Does dowsing work? +
2.6: Could psi be inhibited by the presence of skeptics?
3.1 What are UFOs?
3.1.1: Are UFOs alien spacecraft?
3.1.2: Are UFOs natural phenomena?
3.1.3: But isn't it possible that aliens are visiting Earth?
3.2: Is it true that the US government has a crashed flying saucer? (MJ-12)? +
3.3: What is "channeling"?
3.4: How can we test a channeller?
3.5: I am in telepathic contact with the aliens.
3.6: Some bozo has just posted a load of "teachings" from a UFO. What should I do?
3.7: Are crop circles made by flying saucers?
3.7.1: Are crop circles made by "vortices"?
3.7.2: Are crop circles made by hoaxers?
3.7.3: Are crop circles radioactive?
3.7.4: What about cellular changes in plants within crop circles?
3.8: Have people been abducted by UFOs?
3.9: What is causing the strange cattle deaths? *
3.10: What is the face on Mars?
3.11: Did Ezekiel See a Flying Saucer?
Faith Healing and Alternative Therapies
4.1: Isn't western medicine reductionistic and alternatives holistic? +
4.2: What is a double-blind trial? What is a placebo?
4.3: Why should scientific criteria apply to alternative therapies?
4.4: What is homeopathy? +
4.5: What is aroma therapy?
4.6: What is reflexology? +
4.7: Does acupuncture work?
4.8: What about psychic surgery?
4.9: What is Crystal Healing?
4.10: Does religious healing work? +
4.11: What harm does it do anyway?
Creation versus Evolution
5.1: Is the Bible evidence of anything? +
5.2: Could the Universe have been created old?
5.3: What about Carbon-14 dating?
5.4: What is "dendrochronology"?
5.5: What is evolution? Where do I find out more?
5.6: The second law of thermodynamics says....
5.7: How could living organisms arise "by chance"?
5.8: But doesn't the human body seem to be well designed?
5.9: What about the thousands of scientists who have become Creationists?
6.1: Is fire-walking possible?
6.2: Can science explain fire-walking?
7.1: What do New Agers believe?
7.2: What is the Gaia hypothesis?
7.3: Was Nostradamus a prophet?
7.4: Does astrology work? *
7.4.1: Could astrology work by gravity? *
7.4.2: What is the `Mars Effect'? *
Strange Machines: Free Energy and Anti-Gravity
8.1: Why don't electrical perpetul motion machines work?
8.2: Why don't magnetic perpetual motion machines work?
8.3: Why don't mechanical perpetual motion machines work?
8.4: Magnets can levitate. Where is the energy from?
8.5: But its been patented!
8.6: The oil companies are conspiring to suppress my invention
8.7: My machine gets its free energy from
8.8: Can gyroscopes neutralise gravity?
8.9: My prototype gets lighter when I turn it on.
9.1: What about these theories on AIDS?
9.1.1: The Mainstream Theory
9.1.2: Strecker's CIA Theory
9.1.3: Duesberg's Risk-Group Theory
Question 7 - magazines:
What magazines and journals contain puzzles? Show Answer
AMAYC Review, The
A. K. Dewdney's magazine devoted to recreational computing.
$19.95 per year US, $24.95 Canada, $23.95 elsewhere (all prices US)
P.O. Box 29237
Westmount Postal Outlet
785 Wonderland Road S.
London, Ontario N6K 1M6
American Mathematical Monthly
$32US/year for MAA members
Mathematical Association of America
1529 Eighteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-1385
Arbelos (full of problems)
Bulletin of the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications
College Mathematics Journal
Five times per year
$20US/year for MAA members
Mathematical Association of America
1529 Eighteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-1385
Crux Mathematicorum (formerly: EUREKA -- all problems)
Dr. Kenneth S. Williams
Canadian Mathematical Society
577 King Edward Avenue
Canada K1N 6N5
Cubism For Fun
CFF is a newsletter published by the Nederlandse Kubus Club NKC (Dutch
Cubists Club). It appears a bit irregular, but a few times a year.
Yearly membership fee is now NLG 25.- (Dutch Guilders) which amounts to
approximately $ 15.-. Institutional membership is also possible.
Information is available from the editor:
6662 AL Elst
ibonacci Quarterly, The
The best-known puzzle and game publication. A wide variety of puzzles and articles in every issue.
$17.97 per year US, $22.97 Canada, $27.97 elsewhere (all prices US)
P.O. Box 605
Mt. Morris, IL 61054-0605
James Cook Mathematical Notes
Journal of Algorithms
Journal of Automated Reasoning
Journal of Recreational Mathematics
A must for anyone interested in recreational mathematics.
$23.45 per year for US and Canada, $28.30 elsewhere
Baywood Publishing Company, Inc.
26 Austin Avenue
P.O. Box 337
Amityville, NY 11701
Mathematical Gazette, The
Mathematics and Computer Education (formerly: The AMATYC Journal)
$16US/year for MAA members
Mathematical Association of America
1529 Eighteenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036-1385
Mathematics Teacher, The
Ontario Secondary School Mathematics Bulletin
Pi Mu Epsilon
Problem Solver, The
Publication of the Mensa "Puzzle" SIG. This fledgling newsletter contains a variety of puzzles in every issue. Sample issue $1.
$7 per year for Mensa members, $8 non-members, $10 foreign
Puzzle SIGns Coordinator
11430 East Palomino Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85259
Real Analysis Exchange (only "queries")
REC (Recreational & Educational Computing)
Devoted to recreational computing.
8 issues per year
$27 per year US, $28 Canada, $36 elsewhere
909 Violet Terrace
Clarks Summit, PA 18411
Science of Computer Programming
School Science and Mathematics
Publication of the Mensa "Fun with Word" SIG, but anyone may subscribe. A variety of wordplay and puzzles; fantastic bargain. Sample issue $.50 stamps per coin (no checks) + business-size SASE.
$5 per year US and Canada, $10 elsewhere
3001 Johnson Lane
Columbia, MO 65202
An absolutely fantastic journal devoted to recreational linguistics; a must for anyone who loves words or word puzzles.
$17 per year
Faith W. Eckler
Spring Valley Road
Morristown, NJ 07960
Elemente der Mathematik
Matematicko - Fizicki Lijt
Mathematik in der Schule
Mathematika Tanitasa, A
Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde
Nouvel Archimede, le
Revue des Mathematiques Speciales (mostly problems from entrance exams)
Matematika v Shkole
Normat (formerly Nordisk Matematisk Tidskrift)
Kozepiskolai Matematikai Lapok (koMaL)
Matematikai Lapok (but the problems are stated in English)
Graham Dial, The
Mathematics Student Journal, The
Question 8 - organizations:
What organizations exist for puzzle lovers? Show Answer
American Cryptogram Association
18789 West Hickory St.
Mundelein, IL 60060
Devoted to cryptography. Every issue of the journal contains several thoughtful articles and a large number of puzzles, including aristocrats, patristocrats, xenocrypts, cipher exchanges and cryptarithms. Members have the option of picking a "nom" (nom de plume), e.g. the president is Gizmo. As it is a specialized organization, you should request a sample issue first (I don't know the procedure for this, but $1 and a SASE should do it).
The National Puzzlers' League
Judith E. Bagai
Portland, OR 97282
Simply the best organization devoted to word puzzles. The _Enigma_ contains over 80 word puzzles per issue, ranging in difficulty from easy to extremely difficult and in type from the familiar anagrams and riddles to such obscure forms as spoonergrams and acrostical enigmas. Each issue also includes a member-written cryptic. Members get to pick a "nom" (nom de plume), e.g. I'm Cubist and Chris Cole is Canon. The NPL is a somewhat specialized organization, so you should send a SASE with a request for a mini-sample to the editor to see if it's for you.