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 1982 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 1982, here is an assortment of 15 timely and classical puzzles. They 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 $'50.00 for the best set of solutions to puzzles 12 through 15 received
before March ,1, 1982. The answers to these four are omitted here.
We use a point system to judge the prize set. 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 these four, together with a discussion of other
answers, to anyone sending 25¢ and a self-addressed stamped envelope to "Puzzle
Answers," Old Farmer's Almanac, Dublin, New Hampshire 03444.
We'll pay $15.00 for any original puzzles we use in the 1983 Old Farmer's Almanac.
Closing date for submission is March 1, 1982. Entries become the property of Yankee,
Inc., and cannot be acknowledged or returned. In addition to submitting a puzzle,
tell us, please, the type of puzzle you like best, such as magic squares, geometry,
time-rate-quantity, mazes, logic, number substitutions, etc.
In 1981, the winner was Newton Amos of St. Louis; next was J. E. Holcomb of Cleveland,
Ohio, followed by Leon Kreidler of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Kreidler's 23 on the trisection
puzzle was the individual high. Please submit your favorite puzzles and send your
answers early for puzzles 12-15. Use a separate sheet for each puzzle or answer,
and be sure each sheet has your name and address. Good luck.
Posted May 1, 2021