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Following on from the previous post about this:

This explanation from the Times makes much more sense.

The puzzle is basically looking for the sums of all subphrase of the text that are clearly pence.

Hence 2 pounds contains the phrases "2 pounds", "2 p" and "p" and it's looking for the sum of all these. Not sure where the BBC got all that stuff about 47 and 7 from - that doesn't make any logical sense.

However, it still doesn't seem fair that the question doesn't seem to include any hint of what it's looking for. A few more words were all that was required eg "Add all the pence contained in the following".

Rephrased to make it clearer, it could have actually been a reasonably good puzzle.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
thethirdvoice
13th Mar, 2007 20:53 (UTC)
Still don't like the concept, but at least this one is internally consistent. I wonder if they thought of this before or after they were asked for their reasoning.
ewx
13th Mar, 2007 23:49 (UTC)
It's still a completely arbitrary interpretation of the question as stated. XKCD on this subject.
hmmm_tea
14th Mar, 2007 09:44 (UTC)
But it's worse than the one XKCD are talking about even, as it doesn't even give a hint to what it is looking for.

If it's going to be a puzzle then it's not going to be a straight forward addition of the numbers given. However, it cannot be left so open as to allow multiple correct answers.
(Anonymous)
14th Mar, 2007 11:13 (UTC)
maybe they should write completely confusing puzzles, and supply with them an arbitrary answer, then award the prize to the most interesting way of coming up with the answer.
(Anonymous)
14th Mar, 2007 11:13 (UTC)
maybe they should write completely confusing puzzles, and supply with them an arbitrary answer, then award the prize to the most interesting way of coming up with the answer

-- flurble
senji
19th Mar, 2007 00:04 (UTC)
Of course in the case of the (actually quite irritating) "puzzle" that XKCD is (rightfully) taking the michael out of the answer as presented doesn't make sense because the puzzle has been mangled beyond all recognition.
morganmuffle
14th Mar, 2007 12:32 (UTC)
The BBC solution was as written out by one of the Magazine Monitor readers, presumeably whoever actually put it on the website didn't understand either hence the complete oddness!

If I was ever inclined to enter such things before I'm certainly not now, knowing how deliberately confusing they are.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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