If you didn’t know already there’s an obscure little sporting tournament in Russia which starts this month. It is, of course, the World Cup!
If you’re a bit footy-mad like me, past World Cups bring back glorious memories. Particularly those from your childhood. An abiding memory of mine is of the 2006 World Cup which coincided with my GCSEs. I’m sure I would have done much better in my exams if I had actually done any revision instead of watching all the games. Faced with the dilemma of watching Togo and South Korea duke it out or revise – the answer is obvious!
Which is why I enjoyed Alex Bellos’ Guardian Monday Puzzle so much this week. Every fortnight, Alex sets a maths puzzle on Monday morning, sharing the solution at 5pm. Alex’s puzzles are very good – being both challenging whilst, usually, not taking too long to solve. This week’s puzzle being football related is a bonus (Alex is footy-mad himself having written several books about football in Brazil alongside his mathematics books).
Here’s the puzzle:
If you know only that England beat Tunisia 3-0, can you deduce the score of every other match in the group?
Anyway. Alex also included a post of GCHQ puzzle from Euro 2016 which is a little more challenging:
Being semi-retired, finding the time to do puzzles is very difficult. But I managed to find time to solve the GCHQ one as well (it’s not too long of a puzzle, it took me about 10-15 minutes and I am by no means “fast”!) I couldn’t find a link to the solution so for those who don’t want spoilers skip the next few lines.