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Bachet Weighing Problem

June 3rd, 2015 by Steven Pomeroy | No Comments | Filed in Historical Math Puzzles

This puzzle goes weigh way back, several hundred years, and was devised by Claude Gaspard Bachet de Méziriac.

Claude Gaspard Bachet de Méziriac

Claude Gaspard Bachet de Méziriac

His puzzle does take some thought, and you have to be careful with the wording:

What is the least number of weights that can be used on a scale pan to weigh any integral number of pounds from 1 to 40 inclusive, if the weights can be placed in either of the scale pans?

Good luck!




Mate in One 2 June 2015

June 2nd, 2015 by Steven Pomeroy | 3 Comments | Filed in Mate in One

Uh oh – White looks to be in trouble!  But wait – it looks like White can eek out a win . . .

mate in two 2 June 2015


It’s your move White – can you come up with the solution?

Thanks to chessvideos.tv for the board generation program.


Sequence Puzzle for 1 June 2015

June 1st, 2015 by Steven Pomeroy | 5 Comments | Filed in Math Patterns

Hello, hello!

Today’s sequence puzzle made the NY times back in the 1990’s.  Take a careful look and see if you can come up with the next number in the sequence:

2, 3, 3, 5, 10, 13, 39, 43, 172 . . .

So, what is the next number, and what is the formula?


Sequence Author: N. J. A. Sloane