Ben Oostdam story # 567

CAR TALK RIDDLE


While multitasking this Valentine Day's morning -
also first day of the Chinese Year of the Tiger,
the Carnival in New Orleans,
the American Cup in Spain, etc. etc. -
I overheard something on the radio by the Car Talk Brother's about their last week's riddle.
When they repeated the riddle I was struck by the fact (insert Super Bowl Quote)
that the painter uses the same techniques to memorize numbers as I do,
and topped it of by noting that the number was divisible by three -
like I automatically divide the sum of digits of every number
I hear or see by 3 to see "if it works"...
Before I forget it and go on multitasking, here's the Super Bowl commentator quote;
"One thing that stood out to me a little bit.."
Carry on! Here's what I googled afterwards and may have to get back to next Tuesday
when the official outcome is supposed to be posted.
(Heard this morning what I already surmised,
i.e. that the order of last (or any) four numbers
does not affect whether the sum is divisible by 3 (of course, any number is divisible by three
but only 1/3 of them leave zero as remainder!)

so if he has to try the options, it would take 4! or 4x3x2x1 = 24 ...tries(calls)
wait to later for more, or do it yourself!z



Painting by Numbers

RAY: This was from my painting by numbers series and it was sent in
by John Calhoun. He writes:

I have a friend who's a mostly out-of-work house painter.
One day he stopped at a red light with his truck, you know with 
the ladders on top and all that jazz,
and he hears a toot from the vehicle stopped next to him.
The fellow motions to him to roll down his window and then asks
the painter if he's looking for work. 

'You bet I am!' 

'Do you have a business card?' asks the prospective customer. 

He fumbles around for one like everyone does who doesn't have
a business card and finally admits, 'No I don't have one.' 
And the painter says, 'Tell me your number.
I'll remember it and I'll give you a call tomorrow.' 

The fellow in the other vehicle 
starts to rattle off the number. Same area code as me, the painter thinks, 'I won't have any trouble remembering that.' Next comes the three-digit exchange. 'Ha! Same as mine. All I have to remember then is the last four digits.
Piece of cake.' The light turns green and even though their accelerating engines are making a lot of noise, they can't drown out those last four digits. He's got them. And upon hearing them, he thinks, 'Boy, this is my lucky day.' One of those digits is his son's age, the next one his daughter's age. A third one is the number of months he's behind on his boat payments. And the fourth one is the number of nights his wife has made him sleep on the sofa. He's a snorer, I guess. Now he realizes that the four-digit number
is divisible by three. He says, 'Great! I'll remember the number and
I'll call this guy first thing in the morning.'

Well, three days later he realizes that he forgot
to make the phone call. So he sits down with a paper
and a pencil so he can write down the number.
He knows the area code, it's the same as his, right?
He knows the next three digits, they're the same as his.
'Now those last four digits, let me see,' he says.
'One of them is the number of nights I have spent
on the sofa, that's easy.
'Oh yeah, and there's my boat payment default status.
I got that.
My daughter's age, and my son's age.'
And then he remembers that the four-digit number
he just reconstructed is divisible by three.
He does it, he divides it by three and
says, 'Eureka! Yeah, I got the number.'

He makes the call. It's the wrong number.
It's a retired proctologist, who told him
what to do with his paintbrush.
Anyway, something went terribly wrong.
What was it, and why?

Think you know? ....
BLO fecit/copied it 20100214 HAPPY VALENTINE's DAY!!
11:37: now only $ 400 to go on $ 150K WITF campaign, ending at noon!!-
12:00 they surpassed it!!
CONGRATS. Mitzi c.s.!!
Car Talk Website - stories