Category: FiveThirtyEight

a non-riddle

Unless I missed a point in the last riddle from the Riddler, there is very little to say about it: Given N ocre balls, N aquamarine balls, and two urns, what is the optimal way to allocate the balls to the urns towards drawing an ocre ball with no urn being empty? Both my reasoning […]

riddles on Egyptian fractions and Bernoulli factories

Two fairy different riddles on the weekend Riddler. The first one is (in fine) about Egyptian fractions: I understand the first one as Find the Egyptian fraction decomposition of 2 into 11 distinct unit fractions that maximises the smallest fraction. And which I cannot solve despite perusing this amazing webpage on Egyptian fractions and making […]

take a random integer

A weird puzzle from FiveThirtyEight: what is the probability that the product of three random integers is a multiple of 100? Ehrrrr…, what is a random integer?! The solution provided by the Riddler is quite stunning Reading the question charitably (since “random integer” has no specific meaning), there will be an answer if there is […]

missing digit in a 114 digit number [a Riddler’s riddle]

A puzzling riddle from The Riddler (as Le Monde had a painful geometry riddle this week): this number with 114 digits 530,131,801,762,787,739,802,889,792,754,109,70?,139,358,547,710,066,257,652,050,346,294,484,433,323,974,747,960,297,803,292,989,236,183,040,000,000,000 is missing one digit and is a product of some of the integers between 2 and 99. By comparison, 76! and 77! have 112 and 114 digits, respectively. While 99! has 156 digits. […]