Golomb's gambits

Arcane phrases

The following puzzle first appeared in September 1996

1. The morning newspaper reports: "Yesterday it was necessary to intercalate a bissextile embolism."

a. Today must be April 1
b. An emergency coronary operation was performed
c. A sex-change operation went awry
d. Today must be March 1

2. The "Sicilian Dragon" is

a. A notorious Mafia don
b. A mythological beast
c. A type of monitor lizard
d. A chess opening

3. The "Catalan numbers" are

a. A famous cryptographic system
b. A mathematical number sequence
c. An Iberian form of fortune-telling
d. The Barcelona lottery

4. The term "mare nostrum" refers to

a. A quack remedy for horses
b. A constellation in the Southern Hemisphere
c. A Roman name for the Mediterranean
d. A large region on the "dark side" of the moon

5. "Blue-sky laws" are intended to regulate

a. The issuance of stock to the public
b. The construction of tall buildings
c. Civil aviation
d. Pollution of the atmosphere

6. "Lex talionis" refers to

a. The "golden rule"
b. The principle of "an eye for an eye"
c. The "law of the jungle"
d. The concept of "the lion's share"

[Solutions below]



  1. d
  2. d
  3. b
  4. c
  5. a
  6. b