New Scientist Enigma Puzzle 1763 - Number Theory

Main post link -> http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21929310.600-enigma-number-1763.html#.UhvP7qO3PFo

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21929310.600-enigma-number-1763.html#.UhvP7qO3PFo

The problem basically seeks a number with a unique number of letters when written out in English from a given set (even and divides 3 or odd and divides 3)

Okay, so I solved this using python, by finding the frequency distribution of the number of letters in a written figure. Then finding which figures contained, say, 10 letters when written in full.

I was trying to figure out how to do this with just a pen and paper. Any observations would be much appreciated. Specifically, how can I prove/ When can I assume that the word length frequency follows an approximate bell curve?

My Inelegant but functional Python code available if anyone wants to see.

Note by Jamie Coombes
6 years, 2 months ago

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3 votes

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Is it over or did you submit the answer?

Justin Wong - 6 years, 2 months ago

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I already have the answer and I'll submit when I get round to it.

I was just a little unsatisfied with my method and wondered how to solve it by hand.

Jamie Coombes - 6 years, 2 months ago

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Just submitted the answer to enigma@newscientist.com. Any thoughts?

Jamie Coombes - 6 years, 2 months ago

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