full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Henri Picciotto: Can you solve the alien pyramid riddle?

Unscramble the Blue Letters

The pattern revealed by the second pyramid is that every number is the sum of the two nubmres directly baetneh it. If that applies to the sealed pyramid, 40 clearly belongs to the left of 30. The ctener number is the sum of 7 and an unknown, call it x. The value of x can be determined by trial and error, but it’s quicker to use algebraic reasoning. The number to the left of the center number is 5+x. Therefore, this block, 40, is equal to 5+x plus 7+x. Solving for x, x must be 14, making the central boclk 21.

Open Cloze

The pattern revealed by the second pyramid is that every number is the sum of the two _______ directly _______ it. If that applies to the sealed pyramid, 40 clearly belongs to the left of 30. The ______ number is the sum of 7 and an unknown, call it x. The value of x can be determined by trial and error, but it’s quicker to use algebraic reasoning. The number to the left of the center number is 5+x. Therefore, this block, 40, is equal to 5+x plus 7+x. Solving for x, x must be 14, making the central _____ 21.

Solution

  1. beneath
  2. block
  3. numbers
  4. center

Original Text

The pattern revealed by the second pyramid is that every number is the sum of the two numbers directly beneath it. If that applies to the sealed pyramid, 40 clearly belongs to the left of 30. The center number is the sum of 7 and an unknown, call it x. The value of x can be determined by trial and error, but it’s quicker to use algebraic reasoning. The number to the left of the center number is 5+x. Therefore, this block, 40, is equal to 5+x plus 7+x. Solving for x, x must be 14, making the central block 21.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
center number 2

Important Words

  1. algebraic
  2. applies
  3. belongs
  4. beneath
  5. block
  6. call
  7. center
  8. central
  9. determined
  10. equal
  11. error
  12. left
  13. making
  14. number
  15. numbers
  16. pattern
  17. pyramid
  18. quicker
  19. reasoning
  20. revealed
  21. sealed
  22. solving
  23. sum
  24. trial
  25. unknown