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Programming Enigma Puzzles

22 January 2020

Posted by on **From New Scientist #963, 21st August 1975 **[link]

There were three events after tea and the headmaster appointed Mr Prendergast as bookmaker. After some thought, Prendy produced quite a pretty plan. For a £1 stake you specified the three winners in the order of events (javelin, long jump, hurdles). If you were wholly right, you collected £10. If you got two events right you collected £4. If you were right about the javelin only, you collected £2. Otherwise you lost.

But Prendy had reckoned without Captain Grimes and Dr Fagan (the headmaster), who nobbled all entrants except Clutterbuck, Oglivie and Tangent. Grimes then staked £6 on bets of: CTT; TCC; OTT; COC; OTO; CCO. He made a profit of £4.

The headmaster also staked £6 and naturally did a little better, with a profit of £6 from his bets of: CCT; TOT; OTC; TOC; CTO; OCO.

Which boy won each of the events?

Corrections (applied to the text above) were published along with **Tantalizer 414** and **Tantalizer 416**.

This issue of *New Scientist* also contains an article about a computer program for solving *Tantalizer* puzzles using natural language [link].

[tantalizer413]

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In spite of the multiple corrections to the puzzle text the final puzzle has 2 solutions.

This Python program examines all possible outcomes in 104ms.

Run:[ @repl.it ]Solution:There are two solutions: C, C, T and O, C, O.The published answer was the first of these.