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Since this is the first issue of a new academic year, let me once again review the ground rules. In each issue I present three regular problems (the first of which is normally bridge-related) and one “speed” problem. Readers are invited to submit solutions to the regular problems, and two columns later (not every issue of TR contains a “Puzzle Corner” column), one submitted solution is printed for each regular problem. I also list other readers who responded. For example, solutions to the problems you see below will appear in the March 2004 issue, and the current issue contains solutions to the problems posed in the May 2003 issue.

I am writing this column in mid-July, and I anticipate that the March 2004 column will be due in December. Please try to send your solutions early to ensure that they arrive before my submission deadline. Late solutions, as well as comments on published solutions, are acknowledged in subsequent issues in the “Other Respondents” section. Major corrections or additions to published solutions are sometimes printed in the “Better Late Than Never” section, as are solutions to previously unsolved problems.

For speed problems, the procedure is quite different. Often whimsical, these problems should not be taken too seriously. If the proposer submits a solution with the problem, that solution appears at the end of the same column in which the problem is published. For example, the solution to this issue’s speed problem is given below. Only rarely are comments on speed problems published.

There is also an annual problem published in the first issue of each year, and sometimes I go back into history to republish problems that remained unsolved after their first appearances.


Oct 1. Larry Kells wants to know, What is your best chance to make 7 spades with

The opening lead is a spade, RHO following. Assume there are no inferences to be had from the bidding or the lead, and that the opponents will make no mistakes for the rest of the play.

Oct 2. Donald Aucamp offers us the “Three Hat Problem.”
Three logical people-A, B, and C-are wearing hats with positive integers painted on them. Each person sees the other two numbers, but not his own. Each person knows that the numbers are positive integers and that one of them is the sum of the other two. A, B, then C take turns in a contest to see who can be the first to determine his number. In the first round, A, B, and C all pass, but in the second round, A correctly asserts that his number is 50. What are the other two numbers, and how did A determine his was 50?

Oct 3. Fred Gardiol wonders how many different resistances he can obtain by connecting 10 one-ohm resistors.


Some more standard conversion factors from Sanjay Palnitkar. As an example, 1,000,000 aches is one megahertz. What are

One million billion piccolos
10 rations
100 rations
.5 large intestines
The time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement
365.25 days of drinking low-calorie beer

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