IN ONE of his books on mathematical diversions, Martin Gardner mentions a nice word game invented by Anatol W Holt. One player thinks of a three-letter word; the other then makes a series of guesses at the word and is told each time whether the number of "hits" (right letters in the right place) is odd or even. The object is to determine the word in as few tries as possible. Try this one:
DAY, MAY and BUY score an even number of hits; SAY, DUE and TEN score odd. What is the word?
Answer to yesterday's puzzle:
One way to do it is like this: (the triples indicate the amount of milk in each container at each stage):
(12, 0, 0) - (4, 8, 0) - (4, 3, 5) -
(9, 3, 0) - (9, 0, 3) - (1, 8, 3) -
(1, 6, 5) - (6, 6, 5).