Questions tagged [combinatorics]

A puzzle based on combinatorics, which is the study of counting discrete structures. Use with [mathematics]

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
6
votes
1answer
184 views

A 3x3 grid with common factors

A $3 \times 3$ grid $G$ is filled with every number from the set $\{2,3,5,6,7,11,14,15,30\}$. Now a new $3 \times 3$ grid $H$ is formed, such that $H_{ij}$ is the number of neighbors of $G_{ij}$ that ...
11
votes
4answers
897 views

Deriving a 3x3 grid from another one

A $3 \times 3$ grid $G$ is filled with every number from $1$ to $9$. Now a new $3 \times 3$ grid $H$ is formed, such that $H_{ij}$ is the number of neighbors of $G_{ij}$ that are greater than $G_{ij}$....
8
votes
3answers
657 views

Perfect magic 4x4 square

Can you fill a 4x4 grid with every number from 1 to 16, such that every row, every column and every 2x2 sub-grid of numbers sum to the same value?
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Unusual 3x3 square

Can you fill a 3x3 grid with every number from 1 to 9, such that the sum of numbers in the first row is equal to the sum of numbers in every 2x2 sub-grid? Can you find multiple solutions?
8
votes
1answer
300 views

Manual tiling with 8 dodecadudes

Here are 8 dodecadudes. (Drawn from the very numerous dodecadrafters, made from 12 half equilateral triangles, dodecadudes are a subset of 770 pieces with sharp points and narrow necks excluded). ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Minimize 1×3 tiles on a 5×5 table to block any more 1×3 tiles

What is the minimum number of 1×3 tiles that can be put on a 5×5 table so that no more 1×3 tiles can be put on it? Borders of a tiles are parallel to sides of the table. It is 5 but I can not prove ...
9
votes
1answer
464 views

Plants vs Zombies!

Several plants and zombies (no more than 20 creatures in total) came to the party “Plants VS Zombies”, and it turned out that all the creatures are of different heights. When a plant speaks to a lower ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Swapping 3 knights in a 4x4 grid

Can you swap black and white knights in this 4x4 grid? There is one important constraint: at no point can a knight be under attack by an opponent knight. Knights move using standard chess moves (L ...
2
votes
2answers
98 views

Surrounding an L-shaped tromino

You are given an L-shaped tromino, shown below. Can you surround it by 10 more L-shaped trominoes? The new trominoes can be rotated and must touch the original tromino at an edge or a corner. This ...
10
votes
2answers
580 views

Two football teams

Twenty two football players have agreed to split every week into two teams and play a match against each other. Every week, teams will be chosen differently, 11 players in each team, and they will ...
13
votes
2answers
901 views

Placing 9 cars into a 4x4 carpark

A carpark is arranged in a 4x4 grid and has a single entry/exit as shown in the diagram. A car has the size of a single cell of the grid. Cars can move through adjacent empty cells of the carpark ...
1
vote
1answer
113 views

Probability of a successful DT Cannon

In multiplayer Tetris, there are a number of opening setups that let you send powerful attacks very quickly. One popular opening is the DT Cannon, which allows the player to very quickly send a T-Spin ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

Swapping eggs puzzle

You can try this with pencil and paper, or make it a physical puzzle you can try out with your kids if you have one of those large 3x6 egg cartons laying around. Imagine you have 3 rows of 6 spots. ...
4
votes
1answer
150 views

Non-increasing arrangement

We are arranging the numbers from 1 to 8 in an order so that three consecutive terms cannot be increasing. For example, 12345678 isn’t allowed but 81436572 is. How many ways are there to do it? Please ...
2
votes
0answers
68 views

Fair and square island hopping [duplicate]

If amateur fiction is not your thing skip to the bottom. As IP (Implausible Physics) expert for DREAM, the Department for Reckless Engineering and Advanced Megalomania you have been tasked by sheikh ...
4
votes
1answer
336 views

Two knight tours on a 4x4 grid

Two knights are placed on opposite corners of a 4x4 grid. Can you move* each knight 7 times, such that each cell of the grid is visited exactly once by exactly one of the knights? *Note that a knight ...
1
vote
2answers
228 views

Minimize the longest King chain on a 6x6 ternary grid

This puzzle is an extension of this one: Minimize the longest King chain on a 5x5 binary board Given a grid filled with numbers, we define a King chain to be a path on the grid such that: The path ...
0
votes
1answer
125 views

Minimize the longest King chain on a 7x7 binary grid

This puzzle is an extension of this one: Minimize the longest King chain on a 5x5 binary board Given a grid filled with numbers, we define a King chain to be a path on the grid such that: The path ...
5
votes
0answers
192 views

Choosing squares on a square board [closed]

I have an $8 \times 8$ board. On the board, I want to choose 2 unit squares in each column and row such that none of the chosen squares are touching. This means they cannot share a side or a corner. ...
3
votes
2answers
91 views

Dividing the first 10 numbers into two groups with similar product

Can you paint all numbers from 2 to 10 with red and blue colour, such that the product of all red numbers is as close as possible to the product of all blue numbers?
13
votes
7answers
838 views

Minimize the longest King chain on a 5x5 binary board

Given a grid filled with numbers, let's define a King chain to be a path on the grid such that the path can be traversed with chess King's moves (moving to one of 8 adjacent cells at a time), the ...
10
votes
2answers
458 views

Sixteen chess pieces on a square board

It is well known that the eight main chess pieces cannot cover a chess board. Suppose I have two sets of the eight main pieces. What is the size of the largest chess-like square board all of whose ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Three queens and two rooks covering the chess board… again!

Three queens and two rooks can be placed on a chess board so that all empty squares are under attack, as has been shown here: 3 queens and 2 rooks covering a 8x8 chess board. What if we require that ...
7
votes
2answers
899 views

21 knights covering a 11x11 chess board

Can you place 21 knights on a 11x11 chess board, such that every empty cell is under attack? Good luck! Here is a similar question for 10x10: Knights covering a 10x10 chess board
5
votes
1answer
827 views

3 queens and 2 rooks covering a 8x8 chess board

Can you place 3 queens and 2 rooks on a 8x8 chess board, such that every empty cell is under attack? Good luck!
3
votes
2answers
196 views

Determine minimal number of moves to find cells on a square table 10×10 in which a treasure is hidden

In a 10x10 square table, two neigbouring 1x1 cells contain a hidden treasure. John needs to guess these cells. In one move he can choose some cell of the table and can get information whether there is ...
2
votes
2answers
491 views

Lightbulbs in a 3×3 square

Suppose we have a $3\times 3$ arrangement of lightbulbs and we switch them on/off randomly (probability $½$). What is the probability the no adjacent bulbs are on? My attempt was: Let $1= $ on and $0 =...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

No four cells forming a rectangle

You are given a 5x5 square grid with 25 cells. Can you paint 12 cells, such that no 4 painted cells form the corners of a rectangle with sides parallel to the edges of the grid? Good luck!
9
votes
3answers
1k views

No three points in a line

You are given a 4x4 square grid. It has 16 cells and 25 grid intersections. Can you place 10 points at grid intersections, such that no three points lie on the same straight line? Lines can be ...
5
votes
2answers
190 views

Running Out of Digits, Level 3

The challenge idea is credited to HelloWorld1337. You initially have x of each digit from 0 to 9. This means you have x * 10 digits in total. This count for each digit is shown in the table below. ...
6
votes
2answers
451 views

Covering a 15x15 grid with rectangles

You are given a 15x15 grid and asked to cover it with rectangles whose dimensions are a power of 2. For example you can use rectangles 8x1 and 4x4, but not 2x3. The rectangles must cover every cell of ...
10
votes
1answer
423 views

Grid infection with diagonal adjacencies

A community consists of 81 houses laid out in a 9 x 9 square grid. Every household is friends with their eight orthogonal and diagonal neighbors (except for the houses on the perimeter which have only ...
15
votes
5answers
644 views

Domino tiling on 8x8 checkerboard with four squares removed

I once posted this problem on the (now deleted) Area 51 Math Puzzles proposal. It was well-received there, but obviously I didn't get an answer. I still don't know the answer, and I'm not even sure if ...
2
votes
4answers
200 views

The Greenhouse Problem version 2

This is an extension of Nilster's great puzzle: The Greenhouse Problem The task is the same, but this time sprinklers cover only a 3x3 square around them. For completeness, here is the full set of ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

How long will it take to hand out the shuffled papers?

A teacher has $n$ students sit in a circle in her classroom. She holds in her hands a perfectly shuffled stack of the students' graded homework, with Juan's on top. She is currently standing in front ...
4
votes
2answers
284 views

Mathematics for the English major

An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #48: Unusual tag mix I was looking at the unusual tag mixes post, and one of the ones listed is combinatorics and english. I thought "who's going to be ...
1
vote
2answers
211 views

Dividing the first 10 primes into groups whose sum is prime [closed]

Take the first 10 primes. Can you divide them into $g$ disjoint groups, such that the sum of numbers in each group is prime. In particular can you make this work for every value of $g$ in the range $[...
1
vote
3answers
90 views

5x5 grid with no tetrominoes containing repeating colors

Paint the cells of a 5x5 grid with 𝑛 colors, such that every possible tetromino found in the grid uses 4 different colors. What is the smallest value of 𝑛 possible in such a coloring? Here is a ...
3
votes
3answers
356 views

4x4 grid with no trominoes containing repeating colors

Paint the cells of a 4x4 grid with 𝑛 colors, such that every possible tromino found in the grid uses 3 different colors. What is the smallest value of 𝑛 possible in such a coloring?
5
votes
4answers
552 views

8x8 square with no adjacent numbers summing to a prime

Can you fill a 8x8 grid with numbers from 1 to 8 such that: Every number occurs exactly once in each row and in each column (Latin square). No two adjacent (horizontally or vertically) numbers sum to ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

4x4 square with no increasing triples

Can you fill a 4x4 grid with numbers from 1 to 4 such that: Every number occurs exactly once in each row and in each column (Latin square). No row or column contains 3 adjacent numbers that are all ...
8
votes
2answers
995 views

How many descendants can this spaceship crew produce?

A spaceship is on a very long voyage. It starts with a crew of 4 women and 4 men, none of whom are related by blood. How many descendants at most can this 8-person crew produce without inbreeding? ...
3
votes
1answer
186 views

Moving coins in a grid

Here is a great puzzle from Ed Pegg Jr. Place two coins in the center cell of the following grid. Now you can choose a coin X and move the second coin Y one cell in the direction of the arrow under ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Cut the string!

There are five pieces of blue string on the table with different lengths, the total length of which is 30 cm. There are also five pieces of red string with different lengths, the total length of which ...
4
votes
2answers
236 views

Place 4 players to make 6 distances between pairs

Is it possible to place 4 players on a football field in such a way that the 6 distances between every pair of them are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 meters? Source: Moscow Math Olympiad 2001 (Look Inside to Page ...
8
votes
2answers
358 views

Rack 'Em Up! 🎱

In a game of English eight-ball pool, a set of 15 balls are arranged or 'racked' in the shape of an equilateral triangle. In order for the balls to be racked fairly, they must be arranged like so: <...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

The maximum period of dancing program

Sixteen people named A, B, ..., P are standing in line in the order ABC...P. They "dance", or swap places, according to some predefined instructions. ...
12
votes
3answers
881 views

8 soldiers lining up for the morning assembly

There are 8 soldiers, gathering and lining up every morning for their military service. The commander at the head of these soldiers demands that the morning lineup of these soldiers be arranged ...
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Generalized rectangular tilings with no “fault lines”

I recently came across this question: One rectangle, indivisible The goal is, by tiling 2x1 rectangles, to create a larger rectangle that cannot be split into 2 smaller rectangles. But my question is ...
4
votes
2answers
335 views

The 7 face up/down card

Note: This puzzle is a very old puzzle I got from the Internet, however I changed it a bit to be more interesting. INSTRUCTIONS You have got 7 blank cards. You are playing with a friend of yours. Your ...

1
2 3 4 5
14