Mathematical Puzzles
1980 The Old Farmer's Almanac

1980 Old Farmer's Almanac
1980 Old Farmer's Almanac - RF Cafe[Index]

Reproduced here are various Mathematical Puzzles from The Old Farmer's Almanac, published continuously since 1792. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

Each autumn I used to anxiously await the appearance of the newest edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac on the store shelf, and such was the case with this 1980 issue. It is not that I was/am an avid farmer, just that I enjoy reading the anecdotes, tales, and interesting historical tidbits included amongst the pages along with tables of high and low tides, moon and sun rising and setting times, astronomical events, and weather patterns expected for the year that lay ahead. Most of all, I liked working the puzzles and riddles. Over the years the difficulty levels gradually got lower and lower (aka dumbed down), to the point where for the last decade or so I have not even bothered buying the OFA. Now it is full of numbnut stuff. Because quite a few of the Mathematical Puzzles from the older editions are worthy of an engineer's cerebration, contemplation, and deliberation, I am posting the ones I own here on RF Cafe. Answers to numbers 1 through 11 are provided at the bottom of the page. Puzzles 12 through 15 were not solved for you, but were used as a contest for readers to submit answers, with the best ones rewarded with a bit of moola. Enjoy!

Old and New Mathematical Puzzles

Blanton C. Wiggin, Editor

For 1980, we have received several unusual puzzles. The 15 puzzles are graded for difficulty, so that there should be something of interest for everyone. We hope you find them challenging. No calculus, computers or tricks. We try to include specialized knowledge, if needed, in the puzzle statement.

We will award one prize of $50 for the best set of solutions to puzzles 12 through 15, received before March 1, 1980. The answers to these four are omitted here. For the prize set, we use a point system to judge as objectively as possible. A basic, unadorned, correct answer is 20 points. For a thorough analysis, an elegant or novel answer, up to 5 points extra. Numerical errors lose only 2 or 3 points, if the method is understood.

After April 1, we will send the answers to puzzles 12-15, together with a discussion of other answers, to anyone sending 25ยข and a self-addressed stamped envelope to "Puzzle Answers," Yankee, Inc., Dublin, New Hampshire 03444.

We'll pay $15 for any original puzzles we use in the 1981 OLD FARMER'S ALMANAC. Closing date for submission is March 1, 1980. Entries become the property of Yankee, Inc., and cannot be acknowledged or returned.

1979 saw another close contest. The winner was David G. Phillips, Poughkeepsie, NY, with 81, followed by Jerry D. Curtright, Carpentersville, Illinois. The puzzles were a little tougher last year! Congratulations, gentlemen.


 Mathematical Puzzles (page 158), 1980 Old Farmer's Almanac - RF Cafe   Mathematical Puzzles (page 159), 1980 Old Farmer's Almanac - RF Cafe

Mathematical Puzzles (page 160), 1980 Old Farmer's Almanac - RF Cafe 

Mathematical Puzzle Answers (page 164), 1980 Old Farmer's Almanac - RF Cafe



Posted October 2, 2020