Run for the Ranking

This Saturday, folks from all over the country will be tuning in to the 138th Kentucky Derby. In fact, this year the Kentucky Derby falls on the same day as Cinco de Mayo; undoubtedly the result of this intersection will be a plethora of parties celebrating the melting pot that is America (tacos and mint juleps make for a wonderful combination, I’m sure).

Whenever racing comes up, mathematics can’t be far behind. Gambling is always a popular topic: how are the odds for the different racers determined, for example? But this is a question I will save for another time. Today, inspired by horse racing in particular, I’d like to discuss the following classic logic puzzle.

Suppose you have 25 horses and a 5 lane race track. You have no way to record the finishing times of the horses, but you can race up to 5 horses on the track . . . → Read More: Run for the Ranking

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