Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Contest -1 and Prizes...!!

Updated - There are a few corrections, they are in red. Also, please keep looking at the comments section, there are a few clarifications there...But in short:
STEP-1 : Decode the numbers to form words as described below
STEP-2: Unscramble the 9 words, ask me for clues (post a comment, I'll not publish)
STEP-3: Now, take the first chars of these 9 rightly-arranged words and rearrange them to form the final word.
I just posted the clues in the comments section

Ok, this is a small contest, open for all. But the prizes are restricted to first year McCombs MBAs. The first 5 correct respondents can claim one of the following from me:

(1) Competitive Strategy by Porter
(2) Barney (another strategy text)
(3) Bodie Marcus (Investments)
(4) Financial Strategy (Titman)
(5) Fredrickson Strategy course packet (otherwise worth more than $200!)
(6) If you require any other course packet or text, I will try to arrange it for free from my friends if I don't have it

DISCLAIMER - After you use them free of cost for the next semester, I would like them to be returned.

Contest Closes Sunday 11/26 with TG, after which I will post the results...

'Orite enjoy! This is purely for fun! Happy ThanksGiving!


I'm trying to develop a mapping between every possible word from one to twenty characters and unique integers. A very simple mapping, with the ordering done first by the length of the word, and then alphabetically. Assume they are case-insensitive. The list goes...

a 1
b 2
z 26
aa 27
ab 28

UPDATED: Please note, there are a few corrections in the identifiers. Sorry.
I had to change most of them, becuase of a problem with Excel. Excel rounds off numbers with more than 15 digits! I didn't know about that. Here is the related Microsoft bug
Thanks Microsoft! :) However, those who are interested in a fix for that, you can use the XLPrecision plugin
Apparently, it displays precisely more than 37,000 digits! I just tried it, it works fine...

'Orite, now I don't want you to go through the process of installing plugins for the purpose of solving this small puzzle, hence I went ahead and changed the identifiers and words, however retaining the final word I had in mind. Use this updated list. It's got a lot easier now...


Can you help me out with finding the words for the following unique identifiers ?
(1) 1,539,790,545,915
(2) 145,052,901,271
(3) 88,813,741,261,667
(4) 76,631,734,754
(5) 85,991,506,864,985
(6) 84,420,066,965,242
(7) 136,062,431,514,661
(8) 2,044,464,824,521
(9) 1,189,799

Now, unscramble these 9 words.

If you've got this far, this is hardly anything. Take the first letters of each of these, arrange them in some order and form a new word. Post that word in the comments section, with the 9 words too, and claim your prize!

(1) Once you reach STAGE-B, if you post the words, with your full name, I can email you clues if you're stuck on unscrambling any. I'm not posting the hints for all, since I've seen some terrific anagram solvers. Don't worry about posting your answers as comments, I will not publish them till the end-date
(2) Obviously, you CAN use any anagram engine, but you MAY not. Since the game is for fun, it is against the honor code.
(3) If you have any generic questions, feel free to post them as comments and I'll reply as soon as I can.
(4) For any post, sign off explicitly with your Full Name and write (McCombs) in paranthesis if you are a McCombs first year.
(5) Remember, contest closes on Sunday, but only the first five winners will be given prizes. So hurry! I will try to keep the post updated if as and when people complete
(6) Again, this is just for kicks!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the numbers that are separated by commas, different numbers for which we need to find the respective words?

2:10 AM  
Blogger Padmanaban Kumar (paddu) said...

No. I'm sorry for not being clear on that. There are only nine numbers and hence you need to map them to only 9 words. Each number there, is comma separated (starting from the thousands from the RHS) so that it is convenient to read.

Again, it would be nice if you could post your comments with your name - at least if/when you start solving them...

2:15 AM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Dude can you give an example of a fairly big word and its unique identifier?

5:32 PM  
Blogger Padmanaban Kumar (paddu) said...

Here you go!

snowfall - 157,118,051,752
transcendental - 51,346,529,199,396,181,750

6:53 PM  
Blogger prash said...

just as a confirmation
can you tell me if the chars for 9 are

11:54 PM  
Blogger prash said...

ok i got the nine characters
fnpooahwb. am i supposed to decompose this into ONE 9 char word or multiple words as in the initial examples?
my words are
nicknamed of
pig slices
only i can thn
out in a drag
aaron bakesh
horrigy wend
we erase nw

Am i correct on these nine?
Prashant ( Mccombs)

12:35 AM  
Blogger Padmanaban Kumar (paddu) said...

To clarify some questions asked,

Form the 9 words from the numbers. Each could be a set of multiple words separated by a space (if you want to think of it that way, but space has no representation or value, remember!)

Once you get the nine words, take their first characters. Now if you rearrange them, you will be able to form ONE single word (no spaces in between), that rocked America last year...

2:11 AM  
Anonymous tashfin said...

Hey Paddu,

What do you mean by – unscramble the 9 words – some words are 14 letters long !!!! I don’t think they form a single word.

Take care,
Tashfin A. Haque

2:48 AM  
Blogger Padmanaban Kumar (paddu) said...

Each one can consist of multiple words, but once you unscramble them, even if they consist of two or more words, together they will form something or someone we know of…..

For example

If I unscramble ‘Ha Rival Rudd’ or 'HaRivalRudd' - I will get 'Rahul Dravid'. This is to be considered one word (this is not in the given 9 though)

2:53 AM  
Blogger Padmanaban Kumar (paddu) said...


1. Prashanth (McCombs 1st year) has completed Step-1 correctly - he has a claim to the prize currently although he says he won't be able to solve the anagrams.

2. Tashfin has almost got it all, until before I changed the numbers - including the unscrambling part.

Nice work guys!

12:22 PM  
Blogger Padmanaban Kumar (paddu) said...

Here are the clues, since some folks asked...

1,539,790,545,915 - What do Paul McCartney, Marlon Brando, Yasser Arafat, Tony Blair, Richard Nixon have in common?

145,052,901,271 - Where the private mint of America resides...

88,813,741,261,667 - These wannabes can't sing for nuts

76,631,734,754 - Latino:California = (x):Texas

85,991,506,864,985 - We all hate May...no actually not..

84,420,066,965,242 - Americans beware...

136,062,431,514,661 - used in rocket engines

2,044,464,824,521 - not you not me

1,189,799 - The first drop of the sanguine liquid

3:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, i could only get 4..
couldnt spend any time..today..
unless some divine inspiration strikes me tonight..unlikely to get more.. will check your answers later.

4 -> hispanic
5 -> graduation
7 -> oxygentank
9 -> rambo of course..
2 i see a bank..could be bankers but that leaves an a..so not sure. 3 i have no hope as I am not into music scene..
1,8 are frustrating..:)
6 didnt know americans have become scared of frongs and fishes now..!


11:41 AM  
Blogger Padmanaban Kumar (paddu) said...


(1) Larry King (all these people were interviewed by LK)
(2) Nebraska (Buffet..)
(3) Spice Girls
(4) Hispanic
(5) graduation
(6) offshoring
(7) oxygen tank
(8) negotiate
(9) rambo (first blood)

And the final word is -
Longhorns! [ Easy? :) ]

10:54 PM  

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