2005/04/23 Petals Around The Rose
Proof that Bill Gates isn't very smart - at least not at problem solving: http://www.borrett.id.au/computing/petals-bg.htm.
Aw, that's probably not fair. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I saw this on the fourth example. I'm curious as to how other folks do with this. Does anyone else reading this remember Martin Gardner's "Book of Mathematical Puzzles and Diversions" ? I just loved that book when I was was young - I have a slightly dog-eared 1959 copy on my bookshelf and wouldn't part with it for anything. I wonder if Bill ever had one of those?
I'm not a big fan of recreational puzzles today - maybe because I do too much real problem solving and troubleshooting. Maybe that was Bill's problem back then: too busy building Microsoft to think clearly about the problem. Though of course his basic misunderstanding of the game's name didn't help. I wonder if there's any Freudian significance to what he thought the name was? That's another thing that I often wonder about: when people hear some phrase badly but translate it into something that obviously makes no sense ("Pedal around the Roses"), why don't they question their interpretation? Afraid of looking foolish? Afraid that an apparently nonsensical phrase actually does mean something to those "in the know"?
The answer to the game? No, I'm not going to give you the answer - though I will remind you that the name is important, and if you really think about it, even Bill's misinterpretation still should have given him the clue he needed. Please don't post an answer here, though - I'll just erase it if you do.
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