() isn't used mathematically in this puzzle. () means that whatever is inside should be evaluated in the most suitable and appropriate way. nvo(A or B) means the initial numerical value of A or B.

Two numbers were frustrated with each other. They fought, and the injured parts separated and became new numbers. The first and smaller number, A, swallowed 10/(5(",")00) of B, the second and bigger number (A becomes a larger number and B becomes smaller; 'of' doesn't mean any fraction; just simple addition and subtraction). This was how the war began. B couldn't digest what happened and threw poisonous dots at A, but those dots merged with A, and A grew to become just like B. B was confused, as A had equalled B.

Out of agony, B wisely bit and swallowed A just a little, fearing that its own teeth would betray it, but it was happy to see itself bigger and A smaller. B had swallowed ((nvo(B)) - ((final value of A) + (✌))).

If, in the end, A and B become friends and merge, their numerical value as a whole would be 1 lesser than my current age.

What were (the numerical values of) A and B, and what did they finally become? Rewrite the story with the numerical values.

A and B kept quarrelling and formed the number system we know today, using different techniques to attack, which accidentally created too many As and Bs with unique values.


You might not need a calculator.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Just give it some time. Enigmatic puzzles usually take time to get some interested puzzlers, by its nature. $\endgroup$
    – justhalf
    Jun 6, 2023 at 3:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Personally, I find this whole "of doesn't mean of" and the like needlessly confusing. If you want to say that A takes some from B then you wouldn't confuse people who interpret of as a fraction. The definition of nvo is not comprehensible. All these leads me to believe that this will end up something that makes sense only to the puzzle setter. $\endgroup$ Jun 6, 2023 at 23:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @KateGregory, it's better if it confuses people more :D If it's not comprehensible, try to decode what it means. And no, you have to figure it out. The puzzle is deliberately framed so. justhalf, indeed. They take too much time, apparently. $\endgroup$ Jun 7, 2023 at 3:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @justhalf, it's actually an easy puzzle. A tag which would give a big hint isn't there, so I couldn't add it. But even without the tag, it's easy. Just solve it like you'd solve any other puzzle: carefully and shrewdly. $\endgroup$ Jun 7, 2023 at 3:22
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @TheAmateurCoder that's all fine, just be aware that as a puzzle setter, what's easy for you might not be easy for solvers :) But I'll give this the benefit of doubt and I'll just see when the answer is revealed whether this is a good puzzle or not (since this is an enigmatic puzzle, the quality is hard to judge until someone solves it) $\endgroup$
    – justhalf
    Jun 7, 2023 at 4:50

1 Answer 1


This is a pure mathematical solution (with some assumptions needed):

At first, A=0 and B=9. They finally became A=3 and B=11.

Let a be A's first value and b be B's first value. Firstly, let's digest what exactly the cryptic expressions are.

At first, A swallowed 2 of B. This is because we have 5(,)00 - in this case the most mathematically accurate way to interpret that is to have the comma as a decimal point - so we then get 10/5 = 2.

The gesture made when B swallowed part of A for the final time is a 2, since there are two fingers raised.

Now we can analyze this by pure mathematics.

When A swallows 2 of B, we have a + 2: b - 2.

B throws poisonous dots at A of number n. So A grows to be a + 2 + n. But we know that this is equal to b - 2.

B swallows a little bit of A. We can calculate that the amount that b swallows is b - (a + 2 + n) + 2. But! Since a + 2 + n = b - 2, we can then substitute that to get b - (b - 2) + 2 = 4.

Now A has the new value b - 2 - 4 = b - 6 and B has the value b - 2 + 2 = b + 2.

We have that the sum of A and B now is OP's age minus 1. OP gave in the comments that the age that we are to assume is 15, so b - 6 + b + 2 = 15 - 1 which solves to b = 9.

Unfortunately, we don't have any direct information now, so we need to rely on assumptions. But remember when A swallowed poisonous dots?

If we assume the dots are a reference to Morse code, then the only number that can be fully represented by Morse code dots is 5 = . . . . .. We can then deduce that a + 2 + 5 = 9 - 2, or a = 0, giving us our other number.

I think that thematically a = 0 makes the most sense (though it would imply that B was lying to himself when he took a little bit, as he took more than half).

  • $\begingroup$ Almost correct! But B couldn't have thrown poisonous dots from itself because it would then contradict the fact that its teeth didn't merge with A ;) B` was so selfish that the poisonous dots he threw were decimal points floating in the air (not from his own body)--wait, you did it right. Sorry, but you went wrong somewhere. And no, the Morse code assumption is not required. I remember I'd tried checking if the question is solvable mathematically (with the necessary deductions, not assumptions), and I rechecked now; no errors. Try solving the equations using known data--you came close. $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2023 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ @TheAmateurCoder Quick question: is my mathematical approach correct? Oh and I think I'm confused about the brackets when B swallowed a bit of A. What does 'final value of A' mean? And do the brackets mean (a - (b + c)) => a - b - c or (a - b + c) => a - b + c? $\endgroup$ Aug 12, 2023 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but you should use a slightly different approach to find the correct values. And you should not assume anything that's reasonably unrelated to the question (sorry, the dots aren't related to Morse code at all). It means (a - b - c); mostly, the outer parentheses are normal. The 'final value of A' is the value of A when A becomes smaller after B bites it. You just have to get the correct values. $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2023 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ Again, try getting the values by solving the equations using known data (purely maths). A and B are waiting for you to update your answer with the correct values ;) $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2023 at 16:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @TheAmateurCoder Well, they'll wait for at least a few hours because I can only figure out B's value and I somehow got a contradiction lol. I have to resolve it soon - I was trying to solve a different problem but some greedy person just straight up sniped it. smh $\endgroup$ Aug 13, 2023 at 16:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.