Baron von Skippy on 21 Apr 2003 21:56:01 -0000

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Re: [spoon-discuss] No, I haven't really forgotten...

Someone made a guess in the Number Game a while back -- Orc, maybe? -- but I still can't figure out how to respond. No, really, I'm not sure what the
hell a 'distance in five-dimensional space' or whatever that rule asks
for, is.

Someone's gonna have to explain it to me in terms a five-year-old can


-The distance between two points on a plane is equal to the square root of the sum of the squares of delta x and delta y. Pythagorean theorem, for those of you going "what the...?".

So, the distance in 5-d space is, through some extrapolation of the Pythagoream theorem, distance^2 = (delta v)^2 + (delta w)^2 + (delta x)^2 + (delta y)^2 + (delta z)^2, where v, w, x, y, and z are the five numbers, and delta (letter) is the real number minus the guess.

You know, this is a dumb game. The odds of winning are 3.2 million to one. If you guess right, you should just win B Nomic, given those odds. We need an equalizer or something.-

The system isn't dumb; if you guess at random, then yes, your odds of winning are one in 20^5. But given five guesses, if you know how to solve systems of equations, you can solve for all five values. If you're *really* lucky, you could do it with as few as 2 guesses... that's unlikely, though. Still, it only costs 20 points to make five guesses, and thirty points is the payback; so you make ten points (or more, if you let other people make guesses and use them). That's not too shabby for a few minutes of computation.

-But 10 points in 5 nweeks is. That's not going to get you anywhere. And not nearly everyone has the necessary knowledge to solve those equations you mentioned. (Give me a few hours, I might find the latent skill within myself, or I might find a new well of annoyance...)-


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