Can you solve it? Are you smart enough for MIT?

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


About Radnor Reports

Ken Feltman is past-president of the International Association of Political Consultants and the American League of Lobbyists. He is retired chairman of Radnor Inc., an international political consulting and government relations firm in Washington, D.C. Known as a coalition builder, he has participated in election campaigns and legislative efforts in the United States and several other countries.
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