2 Dec 2013

The Start of the End of 2013 Quiz

I know, it isn't quite the end of the year, but it is the last session of this club. So to celebrate, here is an End of 2013 Quiz.

It isn't all mathematics... and it isn't all that easy either! The good news is that there are only 12 questions. So, get a piece of paper, number your answers A1 to A12 and hand in your completed sheet once you've done all you can!

Have fun!

Question 1

How many times faster does the second hand of a clock go round compared to the hour hand?

A1 = ___


Question 2

The diagram is constructed using one circle of radius 4 units, plus pairs of semicircles of radii 1, 2 and 3 units.

Find the ratio of the red : yellow : green : blue areas.


Question 3


A3 = ___

Questions 4 to 6: End of 2013 Quiz

Question 4

Place these numbers in decreasing order of size.

8^1, 7^2, 6^3, 5^4, 4^5, 3^6, 2^7, 1^8

Which is the highest number?

(Note that 6^3 means 63.)

A4 = ___


Question 5

32-28-92-16 2-75 !

What does it mean?

A5 = ___


Question 6

Here is a peculiar sequence of numbers:

123456789, 33456789, 6456789, 696789, 691389, ...

What single-digit number is left at the end?

A6 = ___

Questions 7 to 9: End of 2013 Quiz

Question 7

Which English word has five vowels in a row?

A7 = ___


Question 8

When Tanvir climbed the Tajingdong mountain, on his way to the top he saw it was raining 11 times. At Tajindong, on a rainy day, it rains either in the morning or in the afternoon; but it never rains twice in the same day. On his way, Tanvir spent 16 mornings and 13 afternoons without rain.

How many days did it take for Tanvir to climb the Tajindong mountain in total?

A8 = ___


Question 9

You have two rectangular tiles and wish to place them inside the larger square. One tile is blue and red, the other is blue and yellow.

How many different unique patterns can you make?

In this case, treat all rotational symmetries as one unique pattern; just as you would if it was a real tile that you could rotate in your hand.

A9 = ___

Questions 10 to 12: End of 2013 Quiz

Question 10

Which word has five consonants in a row?

A10 = ___


Question 11

Mrs Pixey likes to play tricks on her three kids. This morning she packs their personal lunch boxes, one in each of their school bags. However, she places every lunch box in the wrong bag!

In how many ways can she do this?

A11 = ___


Question 12

And finally...

Here is a small number puzzle.

1 Across is a cube

3 Across is a square

1 Down is a square

2 Down is a cube

All four 3-digit numbers must be different.

A12 = ___

That's it!

Now, have a quick check that you've answered all the questions and submit it before the end of the hour.

If you're doing this online, the solutions will be published in a few days.

23 Sep 2013

Word Games

Words are important. Picking the right word can make the difference between a sentence that sparkles and one that... peters out limply. A dictionary and thesaurus help, but you can't look for a word that you don't know exists! Building up one's vocabulary can seem like a long task, but this is where word games can be a fun way to discover new words.

I personally like doing cryptic crosswords, but they take some training to understand the clues, never mind figuring out the actual answers. Below is a small selection of some slightly easier word games.

Ouverture Facile: A Riddle Game

Last week, a number of students were playing Ouverture Facile, an online riddle game. It’s an interesting game and reminds me of something similar that was online at about the same time (2005) but has since been taken down. I helped a little bit with some of the mathematical puzzles and got to know the programmer.

Both games share the aim that the puzzles build one upon the other and that they ultimately guide the player to some new knowledge, be it some code or mathematics, or using a new piece of software or the structure of the internet.

Escape the Room Puzzle Games

There is a genre of games known as “escape the room”. These are minimalist flash video games in which you are locked inside a... room, or rooms, and have to figure out how to escape. if you've never tried such games, have a go at The Viridian Room first.

The Crimson Room is perhaps the most famous (and the smallest) such game however, there is one clue that requires going to a specific URL and last time I tried to play it the information was out of date and did not work. This may have been fixed; you’ll know it when you see it! Lots of other similar escape games at Escape Room.

9 Sep 2013

Learning to Program Online (Programming 1)

Most of you have already got started on Codecademy. This is good to see, but there are some other options.

The first question to ask yourself is: which programming language should I learn first? Note that a static webpage will require HTML and CSS; an interactive webpage may well require jQuery, PHP and JavaScript too. Learning everything is a lot of work!

The MA Primary Maths Challenge (Mathematics 1)

 One good place to start is the Mathematical Association's Primary Maths Challenge page.

There is one online PMC that is automatically marked at the end of the test. Try it out and let me know your score! Don't forget that this is not a mental maths test - you are expected to have pen and paper handy to do many of the calculations.

You can also download past paper, but make sure you try each paper before looking at the answers!