On-air challenge: This Tuesday, Oct. 21, would have been the 100th birthday of Martin Gardner, a longtime "Mathematical Games" columnist for Scientific American. He was also a well-known writer on recreational mathematics, puzzles, stage magic and debunking. Today's challenge consists of classic brainteasers from Martin Gardner books.
Last week's challenge: Name a certain country. Change one letter in its name to a new letter and rearrange the result to name another country's capital. Then change one letter in that and rearrange the result to name another country. What geographical names are these?
Answer: Spain --> Paris --> Syria
Winner: Brad Sorrells of Charleston, W.Va.
Next week's challenge: The following challenge is based on a puzzle from a Martin Gardner book, that may not be well-known. Out of a regular grade school classroom, two students are chosen at random. Both happen to have blue eyes. If the odds are exactly 50-50 that two randomly chosen students in the class will have blue eyes: How many students are in the class?
Submit Your Answer
If you know the answer to next week's challenge, submit it here. Listeners who submit correct answers win a chance to play the on-air puzzle. Important: Include a phone number where we can reach you Thursday at 3 p.m. Eastern.