Category Archives: games

Pulling the goalie

Don Elgee, a retired teacher of mathematics and computer science from Ottawa, sends the following inquiry: In hockey, when a team is down by a goal with about one minute to go, the goalie is pulled in favor of another … Continue reading

Posted in computing, games, mathematics | 6 Comments

Twenty-six twiddles suffice

Among the 250 million Rubik’s cubes manufactured since 1980, how many lie abandoned in a scrambled state, having never regained their original configuration since being taken out of the box? Most of them, I would guess. Now comes word that … Continue reading

Posted in computing, games, mathematics, problems and puzzles | Comments Off

Choosing up sides, again

This is a belated update to my most recent post (which is not at all recent!). If you recall, we were discussing simple playground protocols for assigning players to teams. In one case the captains of teams A and B … Continue reading

Posted in games, mathematics | Comments Off

Choosing up sides

A while ago I wrote about the playground ritual of choosing teams for a ball game. The simplest algorithm has two captains, A and B, who take turns choosing players until everyone is assigned to one team or the other. … Continue reading

Posted in games, mathematics | 12 Comments

Sudoku dans la Belle Époque

A few weeks ago I commented on the discovery of some curious precursors of Sudoku, drawn up in the 1950s as designs for agricultural experiments. Now even earlier antecedants of the puzzle have been discovered by Christian Boyer, a specialist … Continue reading

Posted in games, mathematics | 1 Comment