Monday, March 30, 2009

BRAINTENANCE QUIZ 3/31/09 - 4/3/09

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Dear Friends:

Firstly, let me provide you with some answers:

1. Sid is four years younger than his brother Gordon. Their combined ages are 36. In five years, their combined ages will be Sid's current age plus thirty. How old is Gordon? (trivia bonus: and where's papa?); Sid is 16. Gordon is 20. Where's Poppa? was my favorite movie when I was a college student. (Poppa's actually dead).

2. A truck carrying a cargo of 10,000 pounds of gravel is traveling down a bumpy road. The truck (which is old, and which was formerly owned by Fred Sanford, who didn't take good care of it) loses 15 pounds of gravel per mile. How far will the truck have traveled by the time its remaining cargo weighs 9,750 pounds? During this trip, the truck has lost a total of 25o pounds. If we divide the total amount lost (250 pounds) by the loss rate of 15 pounds per mile, we find that the truck has traveled 16.67 miles.

3. The same truck (as in the previous question) had traveled 40 miles prior to its cargo being reduced to 10,000 pounds. How much did its original cargo weigh? Since the truck has lost 15 pounds per mile, we multiply 15 by 40 miles, and find out that the truck has lost a total of 600 pounds. Since the truck's cargo is now 1,000 pounds, it must have been 1,600 pounds at the start of the trip.

4. The same truck eventually is down to a cargo weight of 9,000 pounds, at which point it begins to lose an additional 2.5 pounds of gravel per mile every 10 miles. How much will the truck weigh when it has traveled an additional 30 miles? During the first 10 miles it will lose 12.5 pounds/ mile (10 + 2.5), for a total of 125 pounds; during the second 10 miles it will lose 15 pounds per mile, for a total of 150 pounds; during the third 10 miles, it will lose 17.5 pounds per mile, for a total of 175 pounds. Adding 125 + 150 + 175 gives us a grand total loss of 450 pounds. If the truck started out with a cargo 0f 9,000 pounds, it is now down to 8,550 pounds.

5. How many ways can you rearrange 8 statues in a row? This is an oldie but a goodie. The answer is 8x7x6x5x4x3x2x1, or 40,320 different ways.

A cryptogram is a code made by substituting a different letter for each letter of the alphabet. In a particular code, for example, the "l"s might be replaced by "j"s, and the "j"s might be replaced by "b"s. Every letter is usually changed, and a different code (substitution pattern) is used for each problem.

Use any reference materials you think might help on the following 10 cryptograms. I have placed the answers on a separate page to keep you from looking until you're ready. Be aware that some of the puzzles may take a while to solve, so don't get frustrated - only a true cryptographer could decipher more than 7 of them! Many of the cryptograms were made using famous (and sometimes humorous) sayings, proverbs, adages and maxims.

One of the things to look for is the frequency of occurence of letters. For example, if a letter appears very frequently, it is likely to be an "e". If two of the same letters follow each other in the middle of a word, it is likely that they are the letter "e" or "o", as in "keep" or "look". Very few words every start with the letter "x"...and so forth. Also, certain two- and three- letter words occur very frequently -- look for these. Punctuation (especially apostrophes) tend to indicate possessive words -- look for these. Often, words are repeated more than once in a sentence -- look for these, too. There is no way to avoid some element of trial and error. Best of luck. The answers will be posted soon.

1. Hsen owsj sud, zq't erkvzkwztj; hsen owsj qas, zq't wdtdkwhp.

2. Y zyufa cbhvxa cw rna oawr uahcqa ivu nyqqcbaww C alau nayuj vi.

3. Jk cwjv sqzhe, kqcwjkp jv lozcmjk txc eomcw mke cmfov.

4. Kqozy kfq vzzx hq rz zmius kahf ozy sulx uorahaqy.

5. Oltp wsfy qsp wfypdsz ef, ethfy ef ypdsqmfd.

6. Ugsxqxai xi qez wzyqsz pvq gj wzqqxyw fgqzi jvgl qez uggv pyh aplupxwy jdyhi jvgl qez vxae om uvglxixyw qg uvgqzaq zpae jvgl qez gqezv.

7. Tfble snowpnywzv, vnf lgoykwpz vnf. Tfble skvvtfwzv, wp'z utzp prl kookzwpl.

8. Ugcvivyl fmce vi kzie hcdji emj gjhjhogcyaj wjcg.

9. Brwqhlfkw hjk qibwk qicedw zbg wkk mike zbg qhsk zbgj kzkw buu zbgj dbhfw.

10. Rka pbrgsgxr rkgjnx rkgx gx rka zaxr pt uii ypfiex. Rka baxxgsgxr taufx rkgx gx rfda.



Douglas Castle

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