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Programming Enigma Puzzles

25 January 2016

Posted by on **From New Scientist #2339, 20th April 2002** [link]

Our local football team consists of BERT, DAVE, FRED, JACK, JOHN, LEON, MARK, MIKE, NICK, PHIL and STAN. The team is in a large league. On match evenings each team plays in a match and by the end of the season each team has played each of the others once.

I’ve kept a note of last season’s results and I’ve counted up the number of matches in which there was a win for one team or the other, and I’ve also counted the rest, which were draws. I’ve then replaced digits consistently with letters, different letters being used for different digits.

How many matches resulted in a win? [The answer is] WIN.

And in how many was there a tie between two teams? [The answer is] TIE.

How many games were played altogether? The answer is one of our player’s names!

Whose name? And how many teams in the league?

[enigma1183]

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The total number of games in a league with

nteams is:In order for each team to play in a game on match day there must be an even number of teams in the league.

This Python program checks possible 4-digit values of

tagainst the possible names. It runs in 157ms.Solution:The total number of games played corresponds to FRED. There are 58 teams in the league.The total number of games is FRED=1653. Then we either have WIN=728 and TIE=925 or WIN=928 and TIE=725.

Without the requirement that the number of teams is even we can find additional solutions for

n=51 andn=55.