# Puzzled

Posted on September 10, 2012 by Celesse

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# Puzzled

I'm often disappointed when I encounter math "puzzles" in Professor Layton. If I wanted to solve those I'd just pick up a text book.
#### Random Comics

Posted on September 10, 2012 by Celesse

## 106 thoughts on “Puzzled”

## The Tubstar

4 feet from the floor, 9 feet from the left post and 6 feet from the right.

## SampleText

Close, 3ft from the floor, not 4. At 4 feet high the distance would have to be 12 feet from the left and 8 feet from the right.

## SampleText

I take it back, sorry you are right, Tubstar, I miss read the riddle, damn cell phone

## Pokemon master

SCREW MATH, GOOGLE TIME

## Pokemon Fan

I wanna be, the very best, at solving algebra!

Dun dun duna!

## steamcrusader

Haters be like:

oh, well, thats nice for you, seeing as pokemons is literally just a math education game in disguise now!

me be like: SHUT UP

## Switcherland

Like Professor Layton was

dun dun dun

To solve them is my real test, to beat it is my cause

dun dun dun

## fdshfudh

I agree with Pokemon master! SCREW EVERYTHING! GOOGLE TIME!

## StitchFan626

Exactly!

## I.T.B.

Same lol

## Cyborg777

Actually, The Tubstar is right. If you put the scenario on graph paper it becomes pretty easy to see.

## gamer

ALGEBRAAAA GOTTA SOLVE ‘EM AAAAAAAAAAAALLL

## JustAGuy

Actually the problem is unsolvable due to a lack of constraints.

First, it never specifies the direction of the shadows relative to the posts, if the shadows share the same direction the light would be much higher.

Second, it is never specified that the light lies within the same vertical plane formed by the two posts, A third dimension adds new complexity and an abundance of possible solutions.

## blarg

It’s visually represented in the game. You solve the puzzle by realizing there’s more than one “triangle” to look at. The triangle composed of the ends of the shadows, light source and floor, also creates a triangle composed of the shadow and post. You know their lengths, so you can extrapolate it into the light source’s height.

It’s a real puzzle. It’s not “math”. Math doesn’t work if you don’t know what you have to work with.

## hackcyborg

it’s actually easy, the places X, Y, Z where the light could be, are definite by the following equations: (X-27)Â²+YÂ²=18Â²; Z=sqrt(6X-45) +1.

And the limits are 45>=X>=9; 18>=|Y|; 16>=Z>=1; this taking into consideration that the origin is inthe basement of the left post.

At this point you may be asking yourself, why the fuck did i write this?, I don’t know, i had some free time and love maths.

Att. A nerd guy passing by

PD: Excuse my leaking english, i’m from MÃ©xico.

## Seb23rules

:) You’ll be in the foreign class!

…

Waaaaaaat?

## The Tubstar

Your point about it not specifying whether it’s a 2d or 3d puzzle is fair, however only a 2d puzzle gives a neat and simple answer as 4 feet above the floor. If it was a 3d puzzle, then the possible answers would form a locus in the shape of a parabolic curve which is perpendicular to both the floor and a line traced between the 2 posts, the lowest point of said curve being 4 feet from the floor, 9 feet from the left post and 6 feet from the right, in between the 2 posts. You could probably work out some values for where various points on the locus are and come up with a formula for it but it’s a bit beyond the scope of a Professor Layton puzzle.

## hayo

What did you just say. *smoke comeing from head*

## Axew13

He said “Your point about it not specifying whether itâ€™s a 2d or 3d puzzle is fair, however only a 2d puzzle gives a neat and simple answer as 4 feet above the floor. If it was a 3d puzzle, then the possible answers would form a locus in the shape of a parabolic curve which is perpendicular to both the floor and a line traced between the 2 posts, the lowest point of said curve being 4 feet from the floor, 9 feet from the left post and 6 feet from the right, in between the 2 posts. You could probably work out some values for where various points on the locus are and come up with a formula for it but itâ€™s a bit beyond the scope of a Professor Layton puzzle.”.

## Zirux0

‘-‘ Am I the only One who doesn’t know a sht?

## Ciro

You people must be very fun at parties xP

## Argent Stonecutter

I’m SO glad I’m not the only one who immediately thought the puzzle was incomplete.

## SamuraiOfPokemon

Head. Doesn’t. Be there. I’m being. Dumbeeeeeerrrrrr…

## anonymous

hah not even a science dweeb can solve it aka the nerd in the comic

## La Citadine

I feel the same way. I hate the math puzzles in Professor Layton. It’s like they ran out of cool puzzles and are trying to fill in some blanks here and there :P

## Snowskeeper

Hey, if you skipped math class, that’s not on them. =P *Shot*

## GaMERGIRL

I HATE MATH CLASS WITH MY LIFE my teacher sucks she gives us a 20 second lesson and calls it a day I LEARN NOTHING!!!

## Corey Misokattsu

Yeah i broke my head at this kind of “puzzel” and the answer was an other than i thought or they are so easy that i donÂ´t have to think!

## Rhaksas

That is not a math equation; that is a riddle.

## Agustine

LOL! i’m loving this!

## Barkeron

Actually, since this is math, you could theoretically derive the necessary rules by trial and error just like “normal” logic/move the objects into the right pattern puzzles.

…but good luck trying that.

## Tom

I like how Cat is in the same pose when he exits Layton Land.

## Rollerio

I think you’re “Rolling” on track!

## blarg

but it isn’t just a math problem. The puzzle is in finding the part that simplifies the whole thing.

## CelesseAdministrator

There’s no way to simplify this particular one. You have to use math to solve it.

## codemo

While it’s true that you can’t really simplify this problem, you can actually solve it using only algebra and some knowledge of the rules of geometry. You could use trigonometry, but it’s not necessary, so I think it still qualifies as a riddle.

Also: big fan of your work, Celesse, you’re a great artist.

## codemo

What the? I just realized that you’re the one making this comic. I remembered you from years back, from deviantart I think, and thought that I had just randomly ran into you on the internet.

Small world…

## SampleText

Not really, just draw it out to simplify it. There is no math except addition here, and thats pretty simple. On the left, for every foot in height the shadow’s length is 3 feet, so for every foot in height you add to your drawing the shadow must be 3 feet longer. You do the same thing with the right and just find where the two lengths equal 15 and the heights match.

## codemo

Well yeah, that works too, but only because they picked nice round values for this version of the problem. For the general solution you need algebra.

## harleyquinnwazhere

True that

## Trenchcoat

You should do more Gamer cat as sidekick art! I’m a guy, but he looks soooo cute as Luke here. He really looks good in anything you dress him in. More gamercat cosplay, haha.

## CelesseAdministrator

Well, I just couldn’t picture him as Layton, so he got thrown into Luke’s role LOL. I think it suits him too. Thanks!

## Ciro

Let’s Try… Mmmh… Dragon Ball Z Suit… Or maybe PokÃ©mon Suit. Ha ha.

## Trenchcoat

Dress him up as a youngster from Pokemon! Heh… Joey and his Rattata.

## Stefano

It looks like gamercat knows Bill Gates

## CelesseAdministrator

He wishes!

## Stefano

ahahhaha everyone does, or at least, deal with his money :)

By the way, i love your comics: your drawing style is amazing and all the scenes are brilliant!

I wish you to become as rich and famous as Bill Gates! xD

## Yuxqe

so GC is actually kinda clever ._.

## Morokite

Ugh. I hate when that happens. Its one of the things that reallly annoyed me about playing Puzzle Agent 2. Sometimes I couldn’t solve a puzzle because it was based of some annoying math equation, or the fact that I couldn’t remember offhand Pi precisely 10 digits deep.

## Ciro

Do one About Mario, Dragon Ball Z, Or at Least Pokemon… Those are the games I play… (I play too Zelda, but only the one of Skyward sword. I did not said to put about Legend Of Zelda, ’cause there are already Legend of Zelda Comics…)

PD:I am from Peru, so dont Judge if its not PD. Okay, the thing is. I dont play those games, Like Portal, Assasins Creed, Or Legend Of Zelda… Uh..

## Snowskeeper

No offence, mate, but she can draw pictures of whatever she wants. You telling her that she shouldn’t do something because you don’t play those games isn’t exactly fair for the people who do.

## Ciro

:PostOnAllTheComics!:

## Wolven

Hehe, cute, as always. I haven’t really played Professor Layton, but I heard alot of good things about it, but never got around to it, seeing GC playing it makes me want to play now -twitch twitch- my friend Rhi-chan has it, so next time I see her, I will DEFINATELY ask her if I can borrow it…

## Wildfire

Math :/

## johnwolf

wait. if GC can write, why dosn’t use the good ol’ white board and dry erase markers to communicate? it would fix a lot of problems.

## Evilweirdo

That is the question.

You see, he was playing one of those Final Fantasy Tactics games and a Judge proclaimed that NO WHITE BOARDS OR DRY-ERASE MARKERS WERE ALLOWED!

Or not. It’s a secret to everybody.

## JK

I hate that as well. The puzzles should test how clever you are at dismantling the problem in creative ways by spotting some loose thread or using some trick, or at least a sliding puzzle.

Putting in a bunch of math problems just cheapens the whole thing, and it certainly makes things more difficult for any younger players.

## Nick Manly

Ugh, no sliding puzzles. I hate sliding puzzles.

## Lokai

Its crazy these things keep appearing in more and more games, and even my mmos now. First with the secret world, and now with GW2! wwhhhhyyy!

## Snowskeeper

Because this isn’t math. It’s shown inside the game. Seriously, people, read the first few comments. =P

## jorge

!ODIO LOS PROBLEMAS DE MATEMÃTICASÂ¡

## Rawr

Woot, proportions! The only type of math problem that I know!

## Cheshire

Ooooh man.Gotta love Professor Layton~ >w< Lol,loving the comics.Thanks for updating! o7o Can't wait till le next,derp… ouo

## Billy MT

Totally see what you did there XD

Can’t be bothered to solve a math problem in a videogame you want to progress at? Make a comic about it and let the fans do the job for you.

The first comments here just prove my point XDDDD

## Snowskeeper

The first few comments also proved that it wasn’t actually a math problem. =P

## UnlockDestiny

OMG I LOVE YOU! and i love games. and kitties. and my cat is black. and named Tifa. and I’m a girl.

*FANGIRLATTACK*

<3

## Ciro

Must… Post… In… All… Comics… NOW!!!!

## xPixel

>: I’m so terrible at the majority of Layton’s puzzles. TwT Most the time…they’re trying to trick you instead of using some actual logic. XD My mother plays the games as well and it’s pretty interesting to compare how differently we think to solve problems.

## Ammy

I actually really love the math puzzles in Layton games (probably only because I’m a physicist, but still). Why think to get the answer when I could just use math and let it solve itself? :D

## mountedcrew

…

nothing to do here…

## emilio

i had the same problem with that “puzzle” lol

## SIGxMUNDx808

Don’t mean to be “that guy” but this isn’t algebra, it’s geometry.

## Nam-Ereh-Won

Actually, it’s trigonometry.

## Eevee Freak Of The World!!!

OH MY GOD HE LOOKS SO CUTE IN HIS LITTLE OUTFIT! (squeals for 16 minutes!)

## Hm...

If the light is between the two posts, then the light is four feet above the ground.

If the light is to the right of the two posts, then it is 16 feet above the ground.

If the light is to the left of the two posts, then you’ve got to rotate reality into ct’hulhu’s arse, and dig a few feet down. (Actually I’m joking – the infinity wraps around, and it ends up about 14 feet underground, on the right hand side. It just ends up casting shadows towards the posts, and _only_ towards the post, from underground. >_o Or it’s in two places at once, which is somehow more friendly…. or the lighting engine in this reality is remarkably friendly, the skybox wraps around to the underground, and the light is 14 feet underground and projecting _very very far_ to light everything _but_ behind the two posts.)

The fourth case still has the light functionally undergound, 2 feet under… just… doing the shadow thing again. Or, again, in two places.

This, kids, is why although you can make a profit sometimes by considering carefully what happens if you toggle certain bits in a problem, sometimes you’ll just make your brain want to reach out your ears and slap you about the face a few times.

See, if the light’s between the two posts, then the left shadow goes left, and the right shadow goes right. They’re both lines, the left one goes right three feet for every foot up, and the right one is a 2:1. (3+2) = 5, 15/5 = 3 total shadow-lengths between the posts, so the light goes three more post-heights up between the posts.

If both shadows are going left, then a post fifteen feet closer to the light shortens its shadow by a foot, so the light is 30 feet to the right of the right post, and half as far up.

If both shadows are going _right_, then one shadow is cast by the ray (y-1)=-x/3, and one is cast by (y-1)=-(x-15)/2, which only intersect in the real plane underground. But since we can observe the shadows being cast, we know that the light is aboveground, and we’re considering a case beyond elementary algebra as I know it. o.o Since we’re only adding and multiplying by real numbers there’s no complex solutions on what graph paper is supposed to model!

## Aperture Science Online Catbot

Phew! That shorted out some frankenturrets! (PS if you take offence to this comment, i mean none.)

## Jayjay

Great, now I wanna see Ace Attorney featured in GamerCat.

## Toaoflight3690

CHEATER!!!!!!!

## Super Epic Miner

ME.

## Hint Coins are dumb

Hint Coin 1: This is actually an easy puzzle

Hint Coin 2: Just think on it.

Hint Coin 3: This is not a hard puzzle:

Super Hint: [ACTUALLY HELPFUL]

## Awesome Games

Wiki

## KutheRaver

… Ok I admit I am fully an idiot when it comes to math… but isn’t this a trick question? It says the posts are both a foot high… the light is situated between the two posts… so wouldn’t the light be 1 foot high? ….This keeps striking me as one of those problems that is trying to make you think harder than you have to…

Then again, I suck at this kind of math… terribly.

## [email protected]@Barrel

Uh, i don’t get it. Did he copy it down and have the kid answer it or was it accidentaly replaced?

## GAMERGIRL

Would anyone be interested in a comic about Gamercat doing an online word search or crossword puzzle.

## Nyan (Nano)

Uhhhh… :/

## GAMERGIRL

What does Uhhhh mean?

## Gameboi340 Playz

Wow.

## Hades Ciphe

What makes this puzzle so interesting to me isn’t the lack of information relating to a third planar axis, but the relatively infinite solutions caused by such a situation. Think about it. When we remove just one variable, the amount of possible solutions immediately falls to a definite number. In this case, the number is 2, but through logical query it drops to 1. The thought that adding one simple variable grants an immediate range that touches the planes of infinity potentially shows how fragile reality truly is on a logical level. As is, a human mind can not completely and truly comprehend infinity. A human can, however, be aware of it. This problem shows us that we may never truly comprehend nor be able to use all parts of our reality, including the quantum realm.