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Why Jigsaw Puzzles Almost Never Have the Number of Pieces it Says on the Box

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This piece was originally published on God Plays Dice.

Patrick Honner tweeted a few days ago:

So let’s say that a number is a “puzzle number” if it’s of the form m x n with m ≤ n ≤ 2m — that is, a puzzle has to have an aspect ratio between 1 (square) and 2. (The choice of 2 is arbitrary here, but any other constant would be more arbitrary.) We can easily work out the first few puzzle numbers:

2 = 1×2, 4 = 2×2, 6 = 2×3, 8 = 2×4, 9 = 3×3

which is enough to find them in the OEIS: that’s A071562, defined as “Numbers n such that the sum of the middle divisors of n (A071090) is not zero.” (What’s a “middle divisor”, you ask? It’s a divisor of n that’s between (square root n/2) and (square root 2n.)) Titling it…



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Woman becomes millionaire using late mum’s lucky numbers

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An Adelaide woman has credited her late mother for helping her become one of Australia’s newest millionaires with an “overwhelming” lotto win.

The woman, from Seaford Rise, was the sole division one winner in Monday & Wednesday X Lotto draw 4013, scooping the entire jackpot of $1 million.

After checking her ticket online and discovering the incredible news, she admitted she’d barely been able to sleep.

“I don’t even know how I feel right now. I can’t believe this,” she told The…



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ABC reporter’s unfortunate slip-up during live cross

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An ABC journalist has apologised after a segment that including him swearing aired on live television.

Elias Clure was in the middle of an update on Victoria’s hotel quarantine for ABC’s News at noon program when he was heard saying “f**k it!”

Clure was mid-sentence when he let slip the profanity.

“Alfred Health contracted staff to conduct cleaning, but also Victoria’s problem plagued hotel system is back in the spotlight, after it revealed … ahh f**k it,” he said while off…



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Teen’s body found in Sydney swimming hole

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The body of a teenage boy has been recovered from a popular NSW swimming hole.

Emergency services were called to Mermaid Pools in Tahmoor, in Sydney’s Macarthur region, about 1.40pm on Thursday following reports the 17-year-old didn’t resurface after jumping into the water.

Police officers, firefighters, paramedics and divers searched for the boy’s body for hours.

The body of a teenage boy has been recovered from a popular NSW swimming hole. Source: Nine News

About 6.15pm, the teen’s…



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