# [ExI] ens puzzle, was: bexarotene

spike spike66 at att.net
Sat Feb 11 20:50:50 UTC 2012

```Humans have evolved to do our best and most creative thinking when dealing
with a crisis.  When all is well and we are too comfortable, we get
conservative and have no good ideas.  We squander our plentiful
circumstances with scandalously wasteful activities, such as war.  But
during the actual crisis of war, we do perhaps our best thinking and
inventing.

I am enjoying a temporary burst of creativity while dealing with a family
crisis related to bexarotene, so I will toss out this idea, and perhaps get
back to it later after the creativity burst is over.

Yesterday's puzzle on my MENSA calendar was a sketch of a television which
contained the following commentary:

This flat screen TV contains exactly _______ E's, _______ N's and ______
S's.

The puzzle is to fill in the blanks with spelled out numbers to make the
sentence true.  The answer is way down at the bottom of this post.

I fiddled around with it for a while, and eventually decided to solve it
with a script, and found the answer.  Then I found a closed form solution of
sorts, but it is still iterative.  Using the script, I found a way to
generate these kinds of puzzles of arbitrary difficulty.  I ran my script
twice.  It found the solution to the puzzle below after 400 iterations the
first time and after 5102 iterations the second time.  Here's the puzzle:

This is a puzzle dedicated to the young people who hang outwardly on
extropians, such as Keith Henson and Jeff Davis, for they are they are fine
guys, yes indeed.  This commentary by spike contains _______ E's, _______
N's and ______ S's.

If you want me to create for you a similar puzzle, which doesn't need to
count Es, Ns and Ss but can be any letters, let me know, I can create it.
The puzzle can be of arbitrary length, but if it gets too big the solution
may be beyond the reach of even computers.

Answer to the flat screen puzzle down below:

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. Don't give up, you are almost there.

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Seven Es, four Ns and eight Ss.

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