GeekDad Puzzle of the Week: Classic 12-Day Countdown

Geek Culture

Keith isn’t the only singing partridge

This week’s Geekdad Puzzle of the Week is a variation on a classic. Most everyone that enjoys these puzzles would be able to determine the number of items given by one’s true love in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song. What’s not immediately obvious, and the subject of this week’s puzzle, is the number of times each type of item is mentioned, in quantity, by those singing — given that everything with a voice starts singing after they are first named. (I did mention that it was not obvious, right?)

For the purposes of this puzzle, assume that my son Max and his class of 9 other students and their two teachers start the standard version of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song. After each new phrase is sung for the very first time — poof! The contents of that new phrase appear, and (given that they have a voice) starts singing, in quantity. That is, after the first time the “six geese a-laying” are mentioned, they appear, and start singing “five golden rings” with the rest of the group. Ok, so it’s more like honking than singing, but they are trying, and it is the holiday season, so we will let them continue.

For your chance at this week’s $50 ThinkGeek Gift Certificate, simply tally up the total of gifts “given/sung” by the group. A gift is “given/sung” the number of times it appears multiplied by each singer singing at that point in time. For example, in the first phrase of the song when only Max’s class is singing, a total of 12 members of Perdix perdix (in their respective Pyrus communis) are given/sung.

As this week’s Puzzle of the Week was delayed in shipping by Federal Parcel Service (or was it United Express?) you have until Saturday to send your puzzle guesses to GeekDad Central. Good luck!

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