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Sunday Times Teaser 3036 – That Old Chestnut

by BRG on November 27, 2020

by Colin Vout

Published Sunday November 29 2020 (link)

Clearing out an old drawer I found a wrinkled conker. It was my magnificent old 6709-er, a title earned by being the only survivor of a competition that I had had with friends. The competition had started with five conkers, veterans of many campaigns; each had begun at a different value between 1300 and 1400.

We used the rule that if an m-er beat an n-er in an encounter (by destroying it, of course!) the m-er would become an m+n+1-er; in effect, at any time the value of a conker was the number of destroyed conkers in all confrontations in its “ancestry”.

I recall that at the beginning of, and throughout, the competition, the value of every surviving conker was a prime number.

What were the values of the five conkers at the start?

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6 Comments Leave one →
  1. Brian Gladman permalink

  2. GeoffR permalink

  3. John Z permalink

    • Brian Gladman permalink

      Nice work John! I was going to do a version that worked backwards from the last conker but you have beaten me to it!

  4. John Z permalink

    Thanks Brian,
    this should be my final submission on this one. Kindly remove my first two posts (containing the recursive function “conkerwar”).

  5. John Z permalink

    my code above is largely inspired by your solution to Teaser 3029 – Square Jigsaw, a week of Sundays ago.


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