full transcript

From the Ted Talk by James Tanton: Can you survive the creation of the universe by solving this riddle?

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Today’s the big day. You’re an ielgennltit creature of matter amidst a caotihc crowd of alien races. Every hundred million yreas, sentient species of the gxalay send emissaries to the core to pay tribute to the galactic seed you’re all descended from. Each of the 27,182 attendees has brought a cube of matter and a cube of antimatter. Except you: you’ve been chosen to represent your femad aetncsor and reenact its moment of choice. Everyone places their mttear and antimatter cubes in a ring. Your job: pick a spot to stand where you won’t be aeilinthand. The ring is too large to simulate aonaitilnhins like before, but you have a programmable device you can point at sopts between cubes. The device can detect the full sequence of cubes around the circle, count cubes of each type, perform arithmetic, and carry out simple logical commands.

Open Cloze

Today’s the big day. You’re an ___________ creature of matter amidst a _______ crowd of alien races. Every hundred million _____, sentient species of the ______ send emissaries to the core to pay tribute to the galactic seed you’re all descended from. Each of the 27,182 attendees has brought a cube of matter and a cube of antimatter. Except you: you’ve been chosen to represent your _____ ________ and reenact its moment of choice. Everyone places their ______ and antimatter cubes in a ring. Your job: pick a spot to stand where you won’t be ___________. The ring is too large to simulate _____________ like before, but you have a programmable device you can point at _____ between cubes. The device can detect the full sequence of cubes around the circle, count cubes of each type, perform arithmetic, and carry out simple logical commands.

Solution

  1. famed
  2. intelligent
  3. chaotic
  4. ancestor
  5. matter
  6. annihilated
  7. years
  8. spots
  9. galaxy
  10. annihilations

Original Text

Today’s the big day. You’re an intelligent creature of matter amidst a chaotic crowd of alien races. Every hundred million years, sentient species of the galaxy send emissaries to the core to pay tribute to the galactic seed you’re all descended from. Each of the 27,182 attendees has brought a cube of matter and a cube of antimatter. Except you: you’ve been chosen to represent your famed ancestor and reenact its moment of choice. Everyone places their matter and antimatter cubes in a ring. Your job: pick a spot to stand where you won’t be annihilated. The ring is too large to simulate annihilations like before, but you have a programmable device you can point at spots between cubes. The device can detect the full sequence of cubes around the circle, count cubes of each type, perform arithmetic, and carry out simple logical commands.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
simulate annihilations 2
nestled pairs 2

Important Words

  1. alien
  2. ancestor
  3. annihilated
  4. annihilations
  5. antimatter
  6. arithmetic
  7. attendees
  8. big
  9. brought
  10. carry
  11. chaotic
  12. choice
  13. chosen
  14. circle
  15. commands
  16. core
  17. count
  18. creature
  19. crowd
  20. cube
  21. cubes
  22. day
  23. descended
  24. detect
  25. device
  26. emissaries
  27. famed
  28. full
  29. galactic
  30. galaxy
  31. intelligent
  32. large
  33. logical
  34. matter
  35. million
  36. moment
  37. pay
  38. perform
  39. pick
  40. places
  41. point
  42. programmable
  43. races
  44. reenact
  45. represent
  46. ring
  47. seed
  48. send
  49. sentient
  50. sequence
  51. simple
  52. simulate
  53. species
  54. spot
  55. spots
  56. stand
  57. tribute
  58. type
  59. years