# Potpourri II

by Kevin J. Lin

It's back! More poly-discipline potpourri puzzles. We've picked out some challenging puzzles (with one or two easy ones tossed in) this time. Can you find the solutions to all twelve? (First see how many you get with no outside help)

- What is the next element in this series: Homer, Aristotle, Rembrandt van Rijn, ... ?
- Two trains start one hundred miles apart and head straight toward each other at ten miles per hour. A bird, perched on the front of one train flies toward the second at twenty miles an hour. The moment it reaches it, it turns around and heads back. It repeats this process until the trains meet. How far does the bird fly total?
- Unix has a built in function called "cal" which will print a calendar for a given month/year. For September, 1752, the function prints out the following. Why?
September 1752

S M Tu W Th F S

1 2 14 15 16

17 18 19 20 21 22 23

24 25 26 27 28 29 30

- What is the defense against 4 Aces and a 10 in the puzzle The
Poker Game? (See the puzzle and its solution for details)
- Speaking of gaffes in puzzles, Monty Hall made a mistake in our solution to his namesake puzzle. No, the answer is still correct, but
a cunning contestant can exploit Monty's code system to cheat! At least, given reasonable
resources. (Again, see the puzzle's solution for details)
- There is a text in a Yale library, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. No one knows how old it is. No one has ever read it. What is the text most commonly called?
- One these things is not like the others; one these these just doesn't belong: Hamilton Cycle, Graph Isomorphism, Satisfiability, Longest Path, and Traveling Salesman.
- List the planets in order of their distance from the sun (nearest to farthest).
- We are now entering (just about any second now...) the "Age of Aquarius". What 26,000 year cycle dictates the ages?
- How many nibbles are there in a megabyte of RAM?
- In 1974, from a small town in Puerto Rico, a coded message was transmitted. The message was exactly 1679 bits long. Whom was it sent to?
- What child of a poet is commonly considered the world's first computer programmer?

### Update (February 25, 1998):

We have a winner! See the solution for details!