The newspaper I got this morning was a little off, to say the least.

The main headline proudly read:

Horse squeals eight times, dubbed "octsqueal"

Well, I decided to ignore that, and head over to the sports section, where the scores to the recent (American) football games were posted. The team's names were completely unintelligible, so I could only really see the scores, which were:

21 - 3

42 - 14

20 - 7

45 - 7

27 - 3

Alright, those scores were fairly normal, albeit with some blowouts.

I caught a glimpse of a motivational quote on another page, which I gave a glance over.

You don't need to be perfect to succeed.

Flipping to another page, I saw a contest offer:

The first person to guess the score of the following football game will win $1000. The winning team scored 22 points, how many points did the losing team score?

Can you figure out how many points the losing team scored?

Breaking character for a sec:

the tags are correct as they are.

Hint Section:

1. You really only need the other five football scores to solve the puzzle. The horse and the quote are minor hints. Speaking of the horse, maybe use that in the anagram?

2. What kind of octsqueal is it... an equine octsqueal? okay...

  • $\begingroup$ Maybe intelligible wasn't the word you meant? $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    Nov 26 '18 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ @jafe whoops, my mind thinks faster than my fingers can type. Edited $\endgroup$ Nov 26 '18 at 14:25




As per the hints, the horse is an equine octsqueal. The only anagram of this is Aliquot Sequence.
Each of the losing scores in the paper is the number of non-zero terms in the Aliquot sequence starting with that number.
E.g. 21 has 3 terms; 21, 11, and 1, whereas 42 has 14 terms;
42, 54, 66, 78, 90, 144, 259, 45, 33, 15, 9, 4, 3, and 1.
Therefore the answer is the number of non-zero terms in the Aliquot sequence starting with 22, which goes 22, 14, 10, 8, 7, 1 so the answer is 6.


Is it...


Horse squeals eight times, dubbed "octsqueal"

octsqueal is an anagram for equal cost. Combined with the next hint:

You don't need to be perfect to succeed.

All of the above scores are divisible between each other, except the third. Since the winning team of the third score needed 1 more point to be divisible, I assume the losing team of the 6th team is 3, which is divisible to 21 (it is 22 - 20+22/2 = 21 - equal cost).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 45/7 is not an integer. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Nov 26 '18 at 14:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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