full transcript
From the Ted Talk "Dennis Shasha: Can you solve the stolen rubies riddle?"

Unscramble the Blue Letters

You’re both told the rules in advance. The etnhmrca will be allowed to discreetly divide his isreub among three boxes, which will then be placed in front of you. You will be given three cards, and must write a number between 1 and 30 on each, before putting a card in front of each of the boxes. The xsobe will then all be opened. For each box, you will receive exactly as many rubies as the number written on the corresponding drac, if the box has that many. But if your number is greater than the number of rubies actually there, the scoundrel gets to keep the etiern box.

Open Cloze

You’re both told the rules in advance. The ________ will be allowed to discreetly divide his ______ among three boxes, which will then be placed in front of you. You will be given three cards, and must write a number between 1 and 30 on each, before putting a card in front of each of the boxes. The _____ will then all be opened. For each box, you will receive exactly as many rubies as the number written on the corresponding ____, if the box has that many. But if your number is greater than the number of rubies actually there, the scoundrel gets to keep the ______ box.

Solution

  1. merchant
  2. entire
  3. boxes
  4. rubies
  5. card

Original Text

You’re both told the rules in advance. The merchant will be allowed to discreetly divide his rubies among three boxes, which will then be placed in front of you. You will be given three cards, and must write a number between 1 and 30 on each, before putting a card in front of each of the boxes. The boxes will then all be opened. For each box, you will receive exactly as many rubies as the number written on the corresponding card, if the box has that many. But if your number is greater than the number of rubies actually there, the scoundrel gets to keep the entire box.

Important Words

  1. advance
  2. allowed
  3. box
  4. boxes
  5. card
  6. cards
  7. discreetly
  8. divide
  9. entire
  10. front
  11. greater
  12. merchant
  13. number
  14. opened
  15. putting
  16. receive
  17. rubies
  18. rules
  19. scoundrel
  20. told
  21. write
  22. written