GeekDad Puzzle of the Week Solution: A Highbrow Mathematics Puzzle

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Kevin's beautifully rendered answer to this week's puzzle

In our months and years of puzzling, we’ve written about Christmas lights and coffee, zombies and presidents, but never have I seen the response generated by a puzzle about farting. Thank you, GeekDad readers, for raising the bar of excellence around here.

For those of you who somehow missed it, this week’s puzzle asked you to discover the time of maximum smell created by my two kids and two dogs farting in a small, enclosed room according to the following smell profiles:

1. The Boy: Every five minutes with smell profile f(t):=-t^2+4t

2. The Girl: Every seven minutes with smell profile f(t)=-2t^2+5t

3. Old Labrador, Gus: Every six minutes with smell profile f(t)=-3t^2+10t

4. The Pup, Shaggy Chewbacca: Every three minutes with smell profile f(t)=-3t^2+4t+2

Kevin’s correct solution is above, in which you can see that maximum smell will be achieved at 127.2 minutes from start — a result driven mostly by our aging Labrador, Gus (though with impressive contributions by the additional three farters).

That said, the winner of this week’s $50 ThinkGeek gift certificate, randomly drawn from the pool of correct entrants is Doug — congrats! The rest of us can use the code GEEKDAD37MD to get $10 off a $50 order at ThinkGeek.

And now, I think I hear the kids waking up on a Saturday morning… which means it’s time to start the stopwatch. CLICK. Timer set for 127.2 minutes.

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