Friday, December 16, 2005

Self-Referential Beauties

A few weeks ago, I started thinking about this puzzle.

In this sentence the number of occurrences of 0 is ____, of 1 is ____, of 2 is ____, of 3 is ____, of 4 is ____, of 5 is ____, of 6 is ____, of 7 is ____, of 8 is ____ and of 9 is ____.

The goal is to fill out the blanks with digits that make the sentence correct. There are two answers -- one is reasonably challenging and one is super clever (I'll post answers in a few days).

But recently, I came across this amazing text. Like a beautiful Escher painting, the following self-referential text is an absolute beauty:

* Write down ten `a's, eight `c's, ten `d's, fifty-two `e's, thirty eight `f's, sixteen `g's, thirty `h's, forty-eight `i's, six `l's, four `m's, thirty-two `n's, forty-four `o's, four `p's, four `q's, forty-two `r's, eighty-four `s's, seventy six `t's, twenty-eight `u's, four `v's, four `W's, eighteen `w's, fourteen `x's, thirty-two `y's, four `:'s, four `*'s, twenty-six `-'s, fifty-eight `,'s sixty "'s and sixty `"s,

in a palindromic sequence whose second half runs thus


suht snur flah dnoces esohw ecneuqes cimordnilap a ni

,s"` ytxis dna s'" ytxis s',` thgie-ytfif ,s'-` xis-ytnewt ,s'*` ruof ,s':` ruof ,s'y` owt-ytriht ,s'x` neetruof ,s'w` neethgie ,s'W` ruof ,s'v` ruof ,s'u` thgie-ytnewt ,s't` xis ytneves ,s's` ruof-ythgie ,s'r` owt-ytrof ,s'q` ruof ,s'p` ruof ,s'o` ruof-ytrof ,s'n` owt-ytriht ,s'm` ruof ,s'l` xis ,s'i` thgie-ytrof ,s'h` ytriht ,s'g` neetxis ,s'f` thgie-ytriht ,s'e` owt-ytfif ,s'd` net ,s'c` thgie ,s'a` net nwod etirW *

This is simply amazing! I wonder if it's possible to construct such a sentence in other languages too. I guess I really sound like a geek.


Blogger Unknown said...

Of course you can find this kind of sentences in other langages; We had (we have) in France a literary movement called l'Oulipo (Ouvroir de lit├ętrature Potentielle) who played (plays) this kind of games. They published several books. And some of the members are quite famous. One of them, Georges Perec, wrote a book (La disparition) without the letter "e" which is quite common in french. Another one invented sentences he read on a tape recorder, he reversed the tape (which could be easily done in the seventies with the tape recorders of that time) and it gave another sentence one could understand. A kind of technological palindrom.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what s the solution?

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its complicate!

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh...i cant figure the solution

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

warhammer gold warhammer money warhammer accounts tibia money tibia gold tibia item runescape accounts buy runescape accounts runescape money runescape gold runescape gp runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling cheap rs2 powerleveling runescape equipment buy rs equipment runescape runes cheap rs2 runes runescape logs cheap rs2 logs runescape items buy runescape items runescape quest point rs2 quest point cheap runescape questpoint runescape gold runescape items runescape power leveling runescape money runescape gold buy runescape gold buy runescape money runescape items runescape accounts runescape gp runescape accounts runescape money runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling tibia gold dofus kamas buy dofus kamas wow power leveling wow powerleveling runescape questpoint rs2 questpoint Warcraft PowerLeveling Warcraft Power Leveling World of Warcraft PowerLeveling World of Warcraft Power Leveling Hellgate money Hellgate gold buy runescape logs buy rs2 items cheap runescape items Hellgate London gold Guild Wars Gold buy Guild Wars Gold runescape items rs2 accounts cheap rs2 equipments lotro gold buy lotro gold buy runescape money buy runescape gold buy runescape runes lotro gold buy lotro gold runescape money runescape gold cheap rs2 powerleveling eve isk eve online isk buy runescape power leveling rs2 power leveling tibia gold tibia item runescape accounts Fiesta Silver Fiesta Gold Scions of Fate Gold Hellgate Palladium Hellgate London Palladium SOF Gold Age Of Conan Gold AOC Gold ArchLord gold tibia money tibia gold runescape accounts runescape gold cheap rs2 powerleveling buy ArchLord gold DDO Plat Dungeons and Dragons Online Plat

6:45 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home