Thursday, April 5, 2007

Fun with Quotes

Back when I was TFing for QR22 I used to pass the time by making up puzzles. At some point, I came up with some quote puzzles (of the standard use/mention type) which I proposed to Peter as extra credit problems. He thought we had best not use them, which in retrospect was a wise decision. Anyway, no reason they should go to waste, so here they are!

To answer these puzzles, all you have to do is put a certain number of quotes into the given sentence to transform it into a truth. To give you a feel for the locutions I use, the following sentence has two quotes in it, the first of which is an opening quote, and the second of which is a closing quote.

“Boston” names Boston

Puzzle (1) below is my attempt to create a slightly more challenging limerick puzzle than the well known one given in most logic classes which features the sentence about Boston above. One of (2) - (4) throws self-reference into the mix. One of the nice things about puzzle (4) is that (so far as I know) it has a unique solution. (6) is inspired by part of Dave Gray's recent Eminees presentation. I might post hints in the comments. Enjoy!

(1) A few quotes placed right help construe
the sense of this jumbled word stew:
James names names names James
names names names James names
names names James names names, which is true.

(2) This sentence has the quoted expression this in it, but there is no instance of it unquoted.

(3) This sentence has exactly two instances of in it.

(4) The number of quotes in the sentence on this page beginning with the words the number of quotes on this page is three, and moreover, they are all opening quotes occurring before the first letter t in it.

(5) This sentence uses but has no mention of the word akimbo.

(6) Names name names name name.

Read more!