Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bowling Puzzler IX: The striker's dilemma

On every leap day and on the third Monday of every fifth month, there is a bizarre competition at Laramie Lanes. Two bowlers face each other in a single game. The first bowler, Brett Striker, is incapable of picking up spares. Brett either strikes a frame or leaves it open. The second bowler, Cody Picksemup, is absolutely incapable of getting a strike, but given the opportunity to convert a spare, he always does so successfully. Under these conditions...

How many strikes does Brett need to guarantee victory?

14 comments:

  1. My guess is 8. The max game for Cody is 190 so Brett would need 8 strikes to get at least 210.

    Right now I'd have to say I resemble Cody more than Brett although when I'm on the lanes I want to be like Brett, throwing nothing but X's.

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  2. MD is right-- 8. But couldn't Cody throw 10 x 9/ + 9 for a 199? (Remember, I'm math-challenged, so talk down to me.)

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  3. Hey, I have a grappler for you! Even though I thought of this, I don't have the necessary tools or mental acuity to figure it out. Seems easy enough, though, for you bowling Phd's...

    What's the LOWEST possible score a bowler (like me) could achieve missing only one spare opportunity?

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  4. Well, MD I agree that the max possible score for Cody is 190, achieved with 10 instances of 9/ + 9. Sorry, EB, it's not 199. But it is possible to have 8 strikes and bowl a sub-100 game. We're not quite there yet.

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  5. And for your second question, EB, is the question if you mark every frame but one, what is the minimum possible score? I think the answer is 90. It would be achieved by gutter-ball spare on nine frames and two gutters on the 10th.

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  6. And EB we all have our realms. i am socially-challenged. I constantly say inappropriate things in inappropriate contexts. Sorry.

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  7. OK here's my revised answer.

    Brett would need 11 strikes to guarantee a score more than 190. The least he could possibly score with 10 strikes would be 180 and the minimum he could score with 11 strikes is 240.

    How much would it suck to throw 10 strikes and lose to someone who hadn't thrown a single one?

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  8. Hmm, I see my error in this bowling math: The formula is 9 x 9/ + 18... I had to write the damn thing out like I was scoring a game to see the obvious single 9's at each end. This is why you don't want me doing your taxes.

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  9. EB, if you were doing my taxes you'd get me more of a refund than I deserved; which is why you should be doing my taxes.

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  10. Yeah, do my taxes, too, EB. MD, you are correct, and it would suck to throw 10 strikes and not break 200.

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  11. I always wonder why I get so much back every year... I do my own, you know. ;)

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  12. I can't figure out how an 8 strike game could possibly equal 90.

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  13. I think I just killed 20 trees figuring this one out.

    X,0,X,0,X,0,X,X,0,XXX = 90

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  14. I always use my spreadsheet to figure out scoring problems. The trees are grateful.

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