Alex Bellos: Teasers from MIT’s puzzle guy –
In 1966, MIT student Allan Gottlieb published his first Puzzle Corner in the MIT Technology Review. More than half a century later, Gottlieb – who has been a computer science professor at New York University since 1980 – continues to publish Puzzle Corner in every issue.
The column has legendary status among math puzzle nerds. Most of the problems are too technical for a non-specialist audience but the column always includes a quickie, which he calls the Speed Department.
Here are four word-based conundrums from the last decade:
1. What is the numerically largest Roman numeral that is a normal English word?
2. How do you prove literally that 11 + 2 = 12 + 1?
3. The 9-letter word SPLATTERS has an intriguing…