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November 2007

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Ponder This Solution:

We need to uniquely find the point from each one of its three projections, so 3*K = N*N. Therefore, no revealing set exists for any N that is not divisible by 3.

Now to prove the existence of a revealing set for all N=3m, let the grid be in the range (0,0,0) to (N-1,N-1,N-1). Let A be an integer parameter running in the range of [0,N) and B be an integer parameter running in the range of [0,m). We will pick the points that can be described as (X,Y,Z) = ( A,A+3B,2A+3B+1-(A mod 3) ) (mod N) for some such A and B. As the quantity of these points is correct, suffice that we show that there is no overlap.

First, there is no overlap between the various observers because
Y-X = 0 (mod 3)
Z-Y = 1 (mod 3)
X-Z = 2 (mod 3)

Second, there is no overlap for any single observer:
1. This is clear for the XY and ZX observers, because both A and B must obviously coincide.
2. For the YZ observer, A+3B must coincide, so therefore (A mod 3) must also coincide, as must A and hence B.

Thanks to Michael Brand for the above solution. The September 2007 riddle on his monthly riddle site discusses a more generalized version of this problem. If you liked this riddle, you may enjoy tackling that problem as well.

If you have any problems you think we might enjoy, please send them in. All replies should be sent to: