Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 1
LF: Damn, I hate it when puzzles turn out to be "IMPOSSIBLE"; what a waste of time!

Oh, it's not so bad. I think one should always be aware of the possibility that a puzzle has no solution. It's just a part of life, and part of mathematics too.

I could not help thinking, "What if the grid were infinite?" Presumably then there would be a solution, with aleph-nought moves.

It reminds me strongly of the old chestnut involving a convention of mathematicians and only one hotel. The hotel has a countably infinite number of rooms, but they are all full. The last mathematician arrives, and is told the bad news (I've been there -- it's a sickening feeling).

Fortunately, the last mathematician has a plan. "Move every existing guest from Room #N to Room #N+1," he says, "and then put me in Room #1."

The clerk is dubious, but to his surprise everyone is eventually accommodated.

Then in walks a physicist...

Loren
Print the post  

Announcements

What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.
Advertisement