A couple of easy problems on brilliant.org that have generated considerable controversy, and some butterfly pics of my own.
A couple of this weeks puzzles on brilliant.org have generated considerable controversy, so I am going to share them with you as a prelude to the butterfly pics. Both puzzles are actually very simple, and I will provide solutions and explanations some time on Friday.
PUZZLE 1: DR FRANKENINE
Here is a screenshot of the first puzzle:
PUZZLE TWO: FUEL TANK
Here it is:
These are from Saturday and Monday. In addition the ones I have photographs of I have seen one other species, mainly white but with flame coloured wingtips but not yet been able to photograph it.
Some cricket related thoughts, photographs and solutions to my most recent set of problems.
I have a couple of cricket related things to share, a few photographs, and solutions to the puzzles I set in the post “Cricket, Photographs and Puzzles”.
The third round of Championship matches were scheduled to start yesterday, but most did not get underway due to the weather, and those that did get underway were heavily affected by the weather. I have two other things to mention in this section:
WORLD CUP 2019 SCHEDULE
The schedule for the 2019 World Cup is now available to the public (see here for full details). The tournament is as usual spread out over far too long (starting at the end of May but not finishing until mid July) because the organisers will not stand up to the TV people and schedule multiple matches for the same day. In 2015 I put up a post demonstrating how a 16-team tournament could be scheduled to last no more than three and a half weeks, and I reproduce the text from that post below:
THE SUTCLIFFE FORMULA FOR ORGANISING A CRICKET WORLD CUP
There has been much talk at the Cricket World Cup about how the tournament should be formatted, especially given that there are those who would reduce it to a ten team tournament (so utterly harebrained a notion that I do no more than mention it). Several of the associate nations at this world cup have given good accounts of themselves, with Ireland having a strong chance of progressing to the quarter finals.
My formula for a Cricket World Cup would be as follows:
16 teams to play in the tournament. Stage one would involve two groups of eight teams, the top four from each group progressing. Each group would play its matches in sets of four (hence two groups of eight), making seven rounds of matches for each group, to played on alternate days (i.e. this stage would span two weeks, with each side having a day off between matches.
After the group stage would be a three day break before the quarter-finals, which would be played all on one day. After a two day break the semi–finals would take place. Then following another two day break the final would take place. This would mean that the tournament would be played in a period of three and a half weeks (a sensible length for a global tournament).
As for the TV people: If they don’t like it they can lump it.
A SUGGESTED ENGLAND TEAM FOR 1ST TEST MATCH
The early stages of this cricket season have been less than satisfactory, but I have some thoughts about an England team for the first test match nonetheless. In batting order:
H Hameed – Mark Stoneman has had ten test matches without producing a serious score, and the fact that he has reached 50 five times but not gone beyond 60 is enough for me to call time on him. Hameed is restored to full fitness (it was injury that ciost him his place after an encouraging start to his test career) and should be given another chance.
J Bairstow, playing as a specialist batsman (he is plenty good enough to do so).
J Root (Captain)
D Malan – one of the few England test batsmen to be able to claim a successful tour of Australia and New Zealand.
M Burgess (wk) – a fine wicketkeeper, and in what is currently a very exclusive club of batsmen who have produced two major scores this season.
S Curran – a left-arm pace bowler who has been knocking on the door. The fact that he bowls with his left-arm will lend variation to the seam attack.
J Leach – finally given a chance in the last test of the New Zealand leg of the tour, he bowled well and must surely be persevered with.
D Bess– stranger things have happened than an English pitch in May warranting the selection of two spinners, so Bess gets the nod as 12th man. Incidentally, controversial as it would be, the person who would have miss out were I going the two spinners route is Broad, going for a new-ball combo of Curran and Anderson.
Of the three players who went into the Ashes tour as England players and who do not feature above James Vince may yet redeem himself by producing some huge scores for Hampshire, while Stoneman and Ali are as far as I am concerned firmly in the category of ex-England players.
We now change focus, and I am marking this with some photographs. There will be more after I have presented solutions to the problems I left you to tackle.
All of these problems were taken from brilliant. The first was:
First the answer:
Now here is Marvin Kalngan’s published solution:
SOLUTION 2: CLEAR ICE
Here is the problem:
And the answer:
SOLUTION 3: POLYOMINO
I solved this one the lazy way – I noted that shape B very easily forms a rectangle, and after visualising various assemblages of shape A and noting that none were rectangular I opted for B only given that this is a Basic level problem. Stefan van der Waal published this solution:
SOLUTION 4: CONVERGENCE
Since the sequence involves numbers between 0 and 1 being multiplied together, and such numbers multiply to produce smaller numbers, the series actually converges on 0.
SOLUTION 5: CUBE
I solved this as follows:
1)Because you are specifically allowed to rotate the cube you can see every individual block that appears on the outside… 2)This means that the only blocks that can you cannot see are those wholly inside the cube…
3)…Which since the surface layer is 1 block thick, and occurs twice in each direction amounts to a 4 x 4 x 4 cube… 4)…Therefore 64 blocks are invisible, which means that (216-64) = 152 blocks are visible.
To end this section here is Aaa-Laura Gao Gao’s solution:
Some thoughts about the early stages of the English Cricket Season, some photographs and some puzzles.
The second round of County Championship matches in season 2018 are now on their second day. Additionally the fact that here in England we seem to have skipped spring, going dorectly from a long, unpleasant winter into summer means I have a particularly fine selection of photographs for you, and there will be puzzles.
THE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP
Scoring is low everywhere. At Chester-le-Street it is looking a first innings tally of 169 will be sufficient for Kent to record an innings victory (Durham, shot out for 91 yesterday morning are 39-7 in their second innings, needing their last three wickets to double that paltry tally just to avoid the innings defeat). Essex and Lancashire are already into their third innings as well, Essex having scraped together 150 first up and Lancashire replying with 144. Essex are 39-0 in their second innings. Somerset, having actually claimed a batting bonus point by reaching 202 are poised for a handy first innings lead, Worcestershire being 153-8 in response. Surrey also topped 200 – making 211, and Hampshire are 79-6 in response. Yorkshire made 256 in their first innings, and Nottinghamshire are 110-6 in response. Derbyshire made 265, and Middlesex have also reached three figures, being 101-5 in response. Gloucestershire are 47-0 in response to Glamorgan’s 236. Northamptonshire were all out for 147 and Warwickshire are about to overhaul them, with wickets in hand. Finally, Sussex batting first are a comparatively monumental 304-7 (three batting bonus points, although they will not get a fourth as they have had 108.3 overs, and bonus points are only awarded in the first 110 overs of a team’s first innngs) against Leicestershire.
Every match is in progress, which beats last week, when Yorkshire failed to produce a playing surface on which the game could be played, resulting in their match against Essex being abandoned without a ball being bowled.
The low scoring is a major problem – the batters will gave little confidence since they are not making runs, and as soon as they face conditions in which the ball does not get up to mischief most of the wicket-taking bowlers will revert to being their workaday selves (we saw, unforgettably for all the wrong reasons, over the winter how seamers who bowl accurately but not especially fast are cannon fodder for international class batsmen on good pitches).
From the point of view of England possibles these two rounds of championship matches have been largely valueless – the 75 from James Vince on the opening day was the usual Vince fare – excellent while it lasted, but did not last long enough to be satisfactory and given the conditions no bowling figures can be taken with anything other than a substantial helping of salt.
PHOTOGRAPHS 1: AN ASPI.BLOG FIRST
The Muscovy ducks first saw a few months back are still in residence, and they have been joined by an unusual visitor, the second largest bird species I have seen in King’s Lynn – Canada Geese.
PUZZLE 1: MATCHSTICKS
My first offering from brilliant(the source of all of today’s puzzles – note also that all can be solved without even using pen and paper, never mind mechanical assistance – I did) is an exercise in visualization:
PHOTOGRAPHS 2: MUNTJAC
This muntjac was nibbling the grass on the playing field of the Lynn Academy, and I was taking pictures through a screen of plants:
PUZZLE 2: CLEAR ICE
PHOTOGRAPHS 3: SQUIRREL
I got two shots of this squirrel, one om the ground, and one as it swarmed up a tree trunk:
PUZZLE 3: POLYOMINO
Another exercise in visualization (my own success with this one enabled me to celebrate what I call my brilliant.org Pi Day – 314 successive days on which I had solved at least one of their problems!):
PHOTOGRAPHS 4: SMALLER BIRDS
PUZZLE 4: CONVERGENCE
PHOTOGRAPHS 5: BUTTERFLIES
PUZZLE 5: CUBE
My own method for solving this one once again involved visualization, although other methods were also used.
In view of some of the moans that appeared on brilliant in relation to this problem please note the crucial words “by rotating” in the question – they are absolutely key.
PHOTOGRAPHS 6: THE REST
While I have been completing this post Durham have succeeded in making Kent bat again, though it is still massive odds against that game even making it onto the third of the scheduled four days.
The first round of County Championship matches in season 2018 is drawing to a conclusion. Where there has been action (Yorkshire’s failure to get their ground into playable condition caused their game against Essex to be abandoned without a ball being bowled). I also have some photos to share, and will provide answers to the last problems I posed.
RAIN, WICKETS AND THE ODD RUN
A lot of drawn games have resulted due to poor weather before and during the matches. However, those matches which have had definite results have been absolute crackers. Only one game remains in progress – Sussex against Warwickshire, with the former’s David Wiese having scored the only century of this first round of fixtures (and off a mere 94 balls, helped along by 14 fours and three sixes). Sussex are building are useful lead, but it will take something spectacular in what is left of the match for anything other than a draw to eventuate. Gloucestershire beat Kent in a very low scoring affair (the largest team total in any of the four innings was only just over 150). Middlesex also won their match in short order, completing the job early on yesterday. Two other matches had definite results:
HAMPSHIRE V WORCESTERSHIRE
Worcestershire generally have a lot of away games scheduled for early in the season to give the New Road ground an apportunity to recover from its winter inundation (it is very close to the river Severn, so this is pretty much an annual event), and this year is no exception. Their match against Hampshire at Southampton (I refuse on principle to refer directly to grounds that are named after a sponsor) saw many twists and turns, but Hampshire were pretty well always ahead of the game. James Vince’s spirited 75 on the opening day was a fine effort, but yet again he failed to turn a good start into a really significant score. All-rounder Gareth Berg matched Vince’s score. Worcestershire fought back from a dreadful start in their own first innings to top the 200 mark, but they still conceded a deficit of 79, and Hampshire then scored 244 in their second innings to leave Worcestershire needing 324 to win. Worcetserhsire were so far short of threatening this target that it took a defiant last wicket partnership to get the final margin below 200 runs.
LANCASHIRE V NOTTINGHAMSHIRE
Lancashire were all out for 158 in their first innings, Nottinghamshire responded with 222, and overnight Lancashire were 58-2. Harry Gurney and Jake Ball (Left-arm Fast and right-arm Fast Medium respectively) bowled magnificently this morning, and Lancashire’s last eight wickets scraped together a measly 15, which meant Nottinghamshire needed just 10 to win. Nottinghamshire themselves managed to lose four wickets while chasing down this target, making the score for the day 25-12.
These are all from this morning:
I posed these problems on Friday, in a post titled “Solutions (And New Problems)“
Deck of Cards:
This is a multi-choice question, the possible answers being:
a) Less than 50% b) More than 50% c) Exactly 50% This problem generated a huge amount of controversy among solvers on brilliant (many of those who opted for exactly 50% being unable to accept that they were wrong and arguing over it). The answer is “less than 50%” – whatever colour the top card in the pack is there remain 51 cards of which 25 are the same colour as the top card and 26 are the other colour. Hence the probability of the bottom card being the same colour is the top card is 25/51, which is just less than 50%. The more cards the deck contains the closer to 50% the probability gets, but it never reaches 50%.
This one caused such confusion to solvers om brilliant that over half of them got it wrong. The answer is A, since the groyne acts as a block against waves approaching it from the right as you look at it, and therefore the reduced speed of those waves causes sediment to deposited on that side of the groyne.
A brief account of my session at Musical Keys yesterday.
Yesterday was a Musical Keys session, and Oliver who runs Musical Keys put in an appearance. Also, some of our stuff was recorded – we will hear it in a fortnight’s time.
THE JOURNEY TO THE SCOUT HUT
Immediatedly after a light lunch of salami and salad I set off on my journey (I was starting early because I needed to check in on my aunt’s house en route and also intended to take advantage of heading towards that part of the world to visit Gaywood Library). After the few minutes it took to make sure all was OK at my aunt’s house I headed for the parkland and thence the footpath between the two academies, before a diversion to Gaywood Library and a walk along the bank of the Gaywood River to finish. Here are some pictures covering the period between leaving my flat and exiting the parkland at Tennyson Road:
The cricket season is underway in most parts of the country, but Yorkshire and Essex have had no play on any of the first three days of their match due to a sodden outfield. Norfolk has not been battered as much as the north, but this picture from The Walks shows the problem – saturated soil means that there is nowhere for water to go.
The second part of the walk to the Scout Hut provided a few photos as well:
Once it was time for the session to begin I did not take long to decide what I was going to do…
After I had been recorded I spent what was left of the session creating musical words (e.g playing the notes F, A, C and E for face or, C, A, F and E for cafe). For the bit was a recording I used a double pattern – each four note chord I used comprised two pairs of notes separated by two, and with an octave between each pair.
The entirety of my homeward journey took place not only in daylight but under a bright sun (yes, we sometimes forget about it, especially during long winters like the one we are just emerging from, but even here in Blighty we do get to see the sun). I only added one solitary picture to my collection during this journey – a pair of drakes swimming in formation in the Gaywood River…
Yesterday was a Musical Keys day, and on the way there I got a few photographs which I think warrant a post of their own, before I move on to the main meat of today’s blogging.
THE BLUE TIT
This was a picture I took more in hope than expectation, since small birds nearly always fly out fo shot before the camera has picked them up, but on this occasion fortune smiled…
As I approached the Scout Hut where Musical Keys sessions take place, walking along the bank of the Gaywood River I spotted a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly. I investigated further and finished with six splendid pictures.
A cricketing post, in which I set out my stall for World Autism Awareness Week and then the month of April.
While this post is a cricket post, it is also my first post in World Autism Awareness Week. Thus to set the stage for this week and for the whole of April you will notice a couple of changes:
All of my own text will in #RedInstead
Save in photographs where it is unavoidable the colour blue will not appear in this blog before the start of May
The main theme of this post is what happened in Auckland, but before that…
A QUICK UPDATE ON THE
AUSTRALIAN CHEATING SAGA
For full details please visit my previous post. The official ICC ‘punishments’ – a one-match ban and a meaningless fine for skipper Steve Smith and just the meaningless fine for Bancroft are a complete joke. However, it seems that Cricket Australia will be taking tough action against Smith and vice-captain Warner(this latter has to rank as one of the stupidest appointments in cricket history given his reputation) and less tough action against Bancroft. The latter annoys me on the following counts:
Yes, Bancroft was a junior player acting under the influence of his seniors, but “I was only obeying orders” has certainly been utterly debunked as a defence since at least 1945.
Bancroft is both older and more experienced than was Mohammad Amir at the time of his fall from grace and yet the latter (quite correctly) spent five years banned from the game (the other two offenders in that case, Mohammad Asifand skipper Salman Buttwere both drummed out of the game permanently, again correctly.
Incidentally, the match in which this scandal broke finished yesterday, a day early, as Australia collapsed in their second innings, losing all 10 of their wickets for the addition of 50 runs (57-0 to 107 all out, thereby outdoing England’s collapse of a few days ago).
CRICKETING JUSTICE IN THE END
England made a decent fist of things on the final day in Auckland, taking the match into its final session, but in the end cricketing justice prevailed, with New Zealand winning by an innings and 49 runs. The truth is that this match was a three-cornered affair, with New Zealand coming out just ahead of the weather and England way back in a distant and dismal third.
There were two things that stood out about the England second innings:
Nearly every batsman got going, but none managed to produce a really major innings, Ben Stokes‘ 66 being the top score.
The ends of sessions were calamitous for England, with Root falling just before the close of day 4, Moeen Ali on the stroke of tea on day 5 and Stokes on the stroke of the dinner break on day 5.
New Zealand bowled very well again, although there is no way that Neil Wagner’smedium paced bouncers should have caused the havoc they did. Leg spinner Todd Astlecollected 3-39. Trent Boult was deservedly named Man of the Match for his nine wickets in the course of the game – it was his magnificent bowling on day 1 assisted by English ineptitude that gave New Zealand an ascendancy that only the weather seriously threatened to take away from them.
England need to learn from this – the only publishable word to describe their ‘preparation’ for the test match section of this tour would be”shambolic”, and their batting in the first innings reflected this.
A win in Christchurch would give them a 1-1 draw in the series, though I reckon that another defeat and resultant 0-2 reverse might just administer the kick up the collective backside that they need. Further information about this match and the players involved can be found here.
I end this section by emphasizing once more where the credit belongs: my heartiest congratulations to New Zealand on a splendid performance.