petals around the rose

Here’s a puzzle that took Bill Gates several hours to solve, but he stuck with it and finally got it.

The name of the game is Petals Around the Rose. The name is significant. Every answer is zero or an even number. That’s all the information you get.

You can play the game in Javascript or Flash.

It took me about five minutes to figure it out. I started getting way to complex, then reread the instructions and realized I was making it too complicated.

Caution: Some people give away the answer in the via link.

(via mefi)


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  1. that was cool I also learned a similar one called polar bears around an ice hole. maybe it is the exact game. thanks for the MS info on arabic

    Comment by fareed on June 6, 2004 @ 12:26 pm
  2. There was a game similar to this that I learned in my math class in 8th grade. At first I thought it was the same game, but it’s a slight modification.

    Comment by Cameron on June 6, 2004 @ 4:43 pm
  3. Fareed: From the discussion at Metafilter, it is exactly the same game, just a different name. You’re welcome for the Arabic info.

    Cameron: Is it different enough that you weren’t able to use the solution to solve this one?

    Comment by dan on June 7, 2004 @ 1:09 am
  4. Well, the solution worked for the first example, and I at first thought it was the same. But when it didn’t work for the others, it took a few minutes to come up with what they were doing.

    Comment by Cameron on June 7, 2004 @ 3:34 pm
  5. this is the solution

    There are 2 petals for every dice roll of 3, and 4 petals for every dice roll of 5.

    God i hate that game

    Comment by alex on November 13, 2004 @ 5:52 pm
  6. that bloody solution doesnt work!!!!!! i’ve been sitting here for hours and i still can’t figure it out. HELP ME PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by claudia on November 25, 2004 @ 2:00 pm
  7. Hey claudia, that solution does work. There’s an explanation too, but if you follow those two rules it’s correct every time.

    Comment by dan on November 26, 2004 @ 9:15 pm
  8. i didnt think this was too clever. it was a waste of time, and was not entertaining at all.

    Comment by Alli on April 23, 2005 @ 7:00 pm
  9. thats not the real point of the rule the point is that the middle dot is the rose and the dots around it are the petals hence the 3 is 2 thing but its not just random

    Comment by rah on September 15, 2005 @ 2:17 pm
  10. i tried alot of math multiplication,and division
    that didn’t work

    Comment by D on November 5, 2005 @ 9:28 pm
  11. when you figure it out you could kick yourself

    Comment by william12 on December 20, 2005 @ 8:37 am
  12. SOMEONE HELP ME!!!!!!! TELL ME HOW TO PLAY!!!!!!!!1

    Comment by Claire on February 21, 2006 @ 7:08 pm
  13. OMG!!! all you have to do is add the odd dice and subtract the count of odd dice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Noah on September 11, 2008 @ 5:43 pm
  14. @Noah: It’s a lot simpler than that.

    Comment by Dan on September 11, 2008 @ 5:56 pm
  15. please just tell me nobody will tell me!!!

    Comment by alyssa on November 2, 2010 @ 5:00 pm
  16. @alyssa Did you read the comments?

    Comment by Dan on November 2, 2010 @ 6:56 pm

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