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Record-breaking record

Record-breaking record

The &answers need to be not just correct to count, but have one important distinction.

By Mukul Sharma

Published: Fri 19 Jun 2015, 1:25 PM

Last updated: Sun 26 Jul 2015, 2:54 PM

I’d like to clarify something that some people have been asking me — namely, if it’s true that only those who write in early have their names published. This isn’t true. The thing is, the &answers need to be not just correct to count, but have one important distinction — basically, if your responses are also fascinating or intriguing, as in zany, out-a-sight or just plain screwy and correct, then it counts even more!
Also, while we’re on the subject, a lot of readers also write in saying they’ve been sending in solutions for donkey’s months with nary a peep on paper containing their names. ‘Wassup?’ they want to know in a peeved high-pitched voice. Like, am I playing favourites? The answer is nope, because I don’t know any of you! The only thing I’ll say is that a lot of you often send in one sentence answers without giving any reasoning, logic or working whatsoever. Obviously, those are not run.
Okay, enough of the heavies; let’s get down to some serious faffing. A phonograph record (you know, those ancient round grooved things made of vinyl on which songs used to be recorded and played back on a rotating turntable?) has a total diameter of 12 inches. The recording itself leaves an outer margin of one inch. The diameter of the unused centre of the record is four inches. There are an average of 90 grooves to the inch. The question is: how far does the needle travel when the record is played?
(The leftover problem was: “Where will you reach if you keep going northeast as far as you can?” Incidentally, for some reason, most people who answered this said we would come back to the starting point. But this assumes that, after a certain point, one would have to begin moving southwest, which is not allowed. The correct answer is that one would slowly and concentrically spiral upwards with the North Pole as a limit. — MS)
(The other problem was: “What happens to the water level in a swimming pool if a large stone is thrown overboard from a boat which is floating in the pool? Does the water level rise, fall or remain unchanged?” — MS)
Rocking-The-Boat Dept:
The water level will fall, because the stone will displace less water when submerged than when floating. When floating, it displaces its weight of water (which is more); while when it is submerged, it displaces only its volume (which is less comparatively, since the stone is more dense than water).
Saifuddin S F Khomosi, saif_sfk@hotmail.com 
(The third problem was: “All students in the physics class also study mathematics. Half of those who study literature also study mathematics. Half of the students in the mathematics class study physics. 30 students study literature and 20 study physics. Nobody who studies literature studies physics. How many students in the mathematics class study neither physics nor literature?” — MS)
Math-Communication Dept:
Okay here goes: the number of students studying physics = 20, given. Number of students studying physics = ½ the number of students studying mathematics. Number of students studying mathematics = 40. Number of students studying literature = 30, given. Half the students studying literature also study mathematics. Therefore number of students studying mathematics as well as literature = 15. Hence students who study only mathematics = 40 - 20 + 15 = 5.
Akshit Chaturvedi, akshit0201@gmail.com
(Others among the first five who also got it correct are: Elroy D, elroydcosta@yahoo.co.in; Yakub Lokhandwala, ylokhandwala@gmail.com; Abhishek Narayan,dudeabhi4u@gmail.com; Sundar, sundaranu@gmail.com; Azhar Zia-ur-Rehman, azharzr@rehmaniyah.com; Ramesh S Mahalingam, ramesh@idealmc.com — MS)
1. What’s the missing number in the series: 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 22, 24, 31, 100, …, 10000, 1111111111111111. (Hint: think about 16.)
2. If 1904 was a leap year and if leap years occur every four years, then why wasn’t 1900 a leap year? (And if you’re so sure, then what about the year 1200?)
(To get in touch with Mukul, mail him at mukul.mindsport@gmail.com.)

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