I took one of Peter Winkler’s puzzle books on holiday recently. After dinner each night I intended to impress my friend with an amazing math puzzle. I had done this before.
The book dissapeared on the flight out. After dinner each night my friend impressed me with an amazing math puzzle. I haven’t seen the book since.
Serves me right!
This is one of those puzzles, you will understand why I have to do it from memory.
I really like Jeff’s post A Fun Trick – Guess the Polynomial. You might want to look at it first.
If you relax the conditions a bit you have a similar sounding puzzle with a very different solution.
So my puzzle is this:
I am thinking of a polynomial. All of the co-efficients are fractions. You may use any number as your test number. When you give me a test number I will tell you the result.
How many test numbers do you need to identify the polynomial?