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Author

Joined: 25 Sep 2003
Posts: 2141
Location: Estonia
I've read them though one more time. Still I don't get it . The answer cannot be the space in one's apartment because you cannot steal space, you can steal chairs. And either way you are left with less than before.

Its interesting the the puzzle seems to suggest there's only one answer to X. Like 1 or 0 or -1, not a random amount.
29 Jun 2012, 09:07
YONG

Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 8000
Location: 22° 15' N | 114° 10' E
YONG
revolution has provided a hint: "not to take it so seriously".

Here is my guess:

"Some of the amount" means "a part of the written number of the amount".

Attached is my proposed solution. The number 4 is stolen/missing!

 Description: Filesize: 1.9 KB Viewed: 5234 Time(s)

29 Jun 2012, 09:24
malpolud

Joined: 18 Jul 2011
Posts: 344
Location: Broken hippocampus
malpolud
YONG quite a smart answer - wasn't thinking about it this way. I was rather after a solution suggested by Madis731 in his last post.
29 Jun 2012, 09:39
revolution
When all else fails, read the source

Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17287
revolution
YONG wrote:
revolution has provided a hint: "not to take it so seriously".

Here is my guess:

"Some of the amount" means "a part of the written number of the amount".

Attached is my proposed solution. The number 4 is stolen/missing!
This is not something I had considered for the answer to use roots of some type. But however this is both logical and fits with the rules so I accept this as an answer. Of course using the root method there are an infinite number of solutions and so makes the puzzle as written not so nice anymore. Oh well. My original solution was to start with "none" and have the thief steal the first "n" to leave you with "one".

So I guess I didn't need to PM anyone or otherwise reveal the answer since you guys are all smart enough to work it out with the right motivation. Well done.
29 Jun 2012, 13:14

Joined: 25 Sep 2003
Posts: 2141
Location: Estonia
Some people may feel betrayed because the puzzle is not universal and work only in English, but still a nice one
29 Jun 2012, 18:21
sleepsleep

Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 8906
Location: ˛　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　　⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣Posts: 334455
sleepsleep
lol,
29 Jun 2012, 18:57
malpolud

Joined: 18 Jul 2011
Posts: 344
Location: Broken hippocampus
malpolud
One of the meanest puzzle I've ever heard.
29 Jun 2012, 19:12
YONG

Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 8000
Location: 22° 15' N | 114° 10' E
YONG
revolution wrote:
My original solution was to start with "none" and have the thief steal the first "n" to leave you with "one".
Haha ... this is definitely one of the meanest puzzles I have ever heard!
30 Jun 2012, 03:54
revolution
When all else fails, read the source

Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17287
revolution
I have to be as tricky as possible because the people here are very smart and work out these puzzles too quickly if they are too easy. Besides, puzzles that are too easy are no fun anyway.
30 Jun 2012, 04:26
malpolud

Joined: 18 Jul 2011
Posts: 344
Location: Broken hippocampus
malpolud
Thank you YONG, you're right.
30 Jun 2012, 07:24
MHajduk

Joined: 30 Mar 2006
Posts: 6034
Location: Poland
MHajduk
Yeah, that was a funny riddle. Somehow reminds me of logical puzzles that are popular among people of the Near East origin (example: "What is more important for sweetening a cup of tea: adding a spoon of sugar or stirring?").

By the way, are you sure, guys, that "stealing" some amount of the substance / thing is the same as "wiping off" or "deleting" some portion of the symbolic notation representing original quantity of the aforementioned substance / thing?

In other words: have we been identifying the symbol of a thing with the thing itself?

It is the same as if in our programming work we had identified the pointer to an object with the object itself.

The idea with use of roots was smart but we can imagine a bit simplier example. Let us take the fraction

1/m

which is less than 1 for every natural m > 1 (for m = 2 we have 1/2, for m = 3 we have 1/3 etc. etc.).

Let us "wipe off" the denominator

1/

and the useless fraction bar [vinculum], of course. We have only the numerator equal to

1

now. So, after "wiping off" we have got a number greater than the original one.

Talking seriously, I don't think that "wiping method" may help us to solve any serious mathematical problem (unless you want to play with so-called "creative accounting" ) but may cheer us a bit.
01 Jul 2012, 14:17
YONG

Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 8000
Location: 22° 15' N | 114° 10' E
YONG
MHajduk wrote:
The idea with use of roots was smart but we can imagine a bit simplier example. ...
My original idea was to begin with a negative number, say -13, and then have the thief steal the negative sign "-" or minus one "-1", leaving behind a positive number 13 or 3, which would definitely be greater than the initial negative number. But I thought that revolution might reject such an idea because the notion of stealing the minus sign or a negative amount could sound a bit irrational. So I presented another idea (using the root) in my earlier post.
02 Jul 2012, 10:07
malpolud

Joined: 18 Jul 2011
Posts: 344
Location: Broken hippocampus
malpolud
There already were some ideas of negative amount - borrowed things and so on
02 Jul 2012, 12:17
revolution
When all else fails, read the source

Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17287
revolution
On a cloudy moonless night on flat terrain a man leaves his starting point and follows his compass on a path due south and walks for exactly 10km. Upon discovering that he can no longer walk any further south the man then puts on a blindfold and spins around randomly and loses all sense of direction. He takes off the blindfold and then proceeds to follow his compass due north for exactly 10km. Assuming his compass is working perfectly, and he walks perfectly straight paths for each stage of the journey, and that he can measure 10km with perfect accuracy, what is the likelihood that he returns to his original starting point?
28 May 2013, 03:07
bitRAKE

Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 2915
Location: [RSP+8*5]
bitRAKE
It's that spinning part that has me confused. If he were at a fixed point during this spinning then it's almost like he was on a track and would return to the exact spot. If there were the slightest movement in his disorientation then there would be zero chance. If we consider the forth dimension there is also zero chance.

Cloudy moonless night, he might have other concerns, or maybe the enjoyment of the walk is sufficient. Walking 10km and having to turn around because he can on longer walk in that direction is rather suspicious. And then the whole blind-fold thing -- he is just trying to get lost.

_________________
28 May 2013, 05:37
tthsqe

Joined: 20 May 2009
Posts: 729
tthsqe
Yeah, this is an easy one if we are talking about earth, right?
Since almost all spinning angles lead him back to a different spot, his chances are zero.

However, this part has me worried:
"on flat terrain a man leaves...due south"

By flat do you mean a perfect sphere, or do you actually mean flat?
If it is the latter, how do you define south then?
28 May 2013, 06:47
revolution
When all else fails, read the source

Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17287
revolution
You can assume this is on the Earth. It is cloudy, moonless and flat simply to stop anyone from getting bearings from stars, the Moon or hills. You can assume that the spin is perfect rotation and no translational motion is imparted during the spin. The blindfold might not be necessary but is just to ensure that the man is unable to fixate on anything like a spinning ice skater might.
28 May 2013, 08:40
YONG

Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 8000
Location: 22° 15' N | 114° 10' E
YONG
What kind of compass does the man use?

Is it mechanical, one with a tiny, magnetic needle? If so, the compass needle could be affected by the spin, at least for a little while.

Or is it an e-compass?

Besides, can we assume that the man can actually (and correctly) read the compass in such a dark environment?
28 May 2013, 11:08
bitRAKE

Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 2915
Location: [RSP+8*5]
bitRAKE
Magnetic north is not the opposite of magnetic south on the earth. And wiki says it moves several miles a year. That should be enough error to prevent his return to the same location.
Quote:
the compass aligns itself to the local geomagnetic field, which varies in a complex manner over the Earth's surface, as well as over time.
28 May 2013, 11:18
revolution
When all else fails, read the source

Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17287
revolution
The type of compass is not important because it is working perfectly and is not affected by any external events. Assume that the compass easily is readable at night, the means of reading is not important, perhaps the man is carrying a lighting source or something. The man does not err when reading the compass, he is an expert compass reader.
28 May 2013, 11:19
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