**From New Scientist #3423, 28th January 2023** [link] [link]

“What ho!” boomed Aunt Nicola. I could tell she was about to talk cricket at me. “Have you been following the test match between Pythagorea and Lagrangia?”

“Auntie, you know I prefer Navier-Stokes to Ben Stokes”. “Well”, she said, “you might be interested — there’s maths involved! In their first innings, Lagrangia’s total score was a square number”.

“Innings?” I asked. “It’s the word for a team’s turn to bat. They each have two. In their first, the Pythagoreans also got a square number, but they were more than 300 behind!”

“That sounds insurmountable”. “You might think so”, she said. “Then, when Lagrangia batted again, they added a different square number — less than 50 — so that their lead and overall total were also square numbers”.

“Goodness”. “But the Pythagoreans battled back in their second innings”, she continued, “and the game ended dramatically in a tie”.

I then knew enough to work out the totals of the four innings in order. What were they?

[puzzle#206]

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The scores in both of L’s innings are squares that sum to a square. So they can be derived from a Pythagorean triple.

And P’s innings are also squares that sum to the same total.

This Python program runs in 64ms. (The internal runtime is 127µs).

Run:[ @replit ]Solution:The innings were: L1=576, P1=225, L2=49, P2=400.Each team finished on a total of 625 runs.

Interesting that Navier Stokes and Lagrange are mentioned in this teaser.

Navier Stokes equations are important equations in Fluid Mechanics.

The Clay Mathematics Institute has called this one of the seven most important open problems in mathematics and has offered a US$1 million prize for a solution or a counterexample.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navier%E2%80%93Stokes_equations

Lagrange was also an important mathematician.