A professor has written a note to help him remember his password. I'm sure you can find out what it is. After all, he's very functional.

$\text{4,24 AOPCRTLIFA}$
$\text{10,5 RAVHLE}$
$\text{0,1 SIOEICN}$
$\text{3,27 BEUMC}$
$\text{54,18 ETEITNTO}$
$\text{100,2 LHOIGAMCTR}$
$\text{16,4 UOATRSROOEQ}$
$\text{0,-1/2 UATZE}$
$\text{6,18 IELPRNT}$
$\text{140,12 MSGTAI}$

$\text{My password:}$


1 Answer 1


The answer is


Here's how to find it.

Each set of letters anagram a mathematical function that can be applied to the first number to produce the second. (I actually didn't realize the relationship between the number until I had found most of them by recognizing near-anagrams).
10,5 HALVE + R
1,0 COSINE + I
3,27 CUBE + M
54,18 TOTIENT + E
0,-1/2 ZETA + U
6,18 TRIPLE + N
140,12 SIGMA + T

From here,

The extra letters spell "PRIME COUNT". Applying the prime count function (number of primes $\leq n$) to each number gives $12, 0, 19, 7, 4, 12, 0, 19, 8, 2, 0, 11,$ which as alphabet letters spells MATHEMATICAL.

  • $\begingroup$ Great puzzle! The whole process felt smooth and justified. I like the recursive step to get the final answer. I have some really nitpicky nitpicks. Since the ordering of the letters to anagram is arbritary (unless I'm missing something), convention is to write them alphabetically. I'd find a 1-indexed alphabet a bit more natural than 0-indexed. Commas are a bit weird to represent functions, though maybe $a \to b$ would be a giveaway, but if so the final clue should avoid commas and be space-separated. $\endgroup$
    – xnor
    Apr 15, 2015 at 8:30
  • $\begingroup$ To my knowlege, the last 'sub-puzzle' is one indexed, not zero indexed (?). Take 2. The number of primes <= 2 is one, so 2 -> 1 -> 'A'. But you're right, in that the solution phrase should probably not be separated by commas, and you also picked that I tried not to use -> to avoid giving the game away too early. $\endgroup$
    – Tryth
    Apr 15, 2015 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Tryth My mistake, it was indeed one-indexed. $\endgroup$
    – xnor
    Apr 15, 2015 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ @xnor : 100,2 LOGARMITH + C should be LOGARITHM $\endgroup$ Apr 15, 2015 at 13:24
  • $\begingroup$ LOGARITHM -> ALGORITHM $\endgroup$
    – user88
    Apr 16, 2015 at 0:22

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