Solving 24s, part ii: powers, roots, and logarithms

In my last post on this topic, I showed that 566 of 715 possible hands in the game of 24s could be solved with simple arithmetic. However in practice people don’t play with just those operators. In my experience, a normal game always includes powers, roots, and logarithms. The solution method used for arithmetics works just fine when expanded for these additional functions, though I chose to make some small modifications for the sake of efficiency.

First, I redefine the functions to remove some cases that are quite unlikely to produce 24s, and which would increase memory needs and processing time significantly if left in place. See the following, for example:


Off[General::"spell1"]; Off[General::"spell"];
power[x_?(# > 0 &), y_?(-16 <= # <= 16 &)] := x^y; power[x__] := Indeterminate; root[x_Integer?(# > 0 &), y_Integer?(-16 <= # <= 16 && # != 0 &)] := Power[x, (y)^-1]; root[x__] := Indeterminate; divide[x_, y_] /; y != 0 := Divide[x, y]; divide[x_, 0] := Indeterminate; log[x_?(# > 0 &), y_?(# > 0 &)] := Log[x, y];
log[x__] := Indeterminate;

We can then generate rules as in the arithmetic case but with

rules = generateRules[{Times, Plus, Subtract, divide, power, root, log}, 4];

and run legitCombos as before. The result? 595 hands are solvable, as opposed to the 566 we had before. hands that can be solved now, that couldn’t be solved before, include

{1,1,8,9} -> 8 Root[9,1+1] and trivial variations
{1,2,9,9} -> (9-1) Root[9,2] and trivial variations
{2, 2, 2, 6} -> 2^(2+Log[2,6]) or (2*Root[6,2])^2 and trivial variations
{2,2,9,9} -> 2(Root[9,2]+9) and trivial variations
{3,7,8,10} -> 7 Root[8,3] +10 and trivial variations
{3,4,9,10} -> 4+Log[3,9]*10 and trivial variations
{7, 8, 9, 9} -> 8 Root[9,9-7] and trivial variations, and
{8, 8, 9, 10} -> 8 Root[9,10-8] and trivial variations.

The hands that remain unsolvable are

{{1, 1, 1, 1}, {1, 1, 1, 2}, {1, 1, 1, 3}, {1, 1, 1, 4}, {1, 1, 1, 6}, {1, 1, 1, 7}, {1, 1, 1, 9}, {1, 1, 1, 10}, {1, 1, 2, 2}, {1, 1, 2, 3}, {1, 1, 5, 9}, {1, 1, 5, 10}, {1, 1, 6, 7}, {1, 1, 6, 10}, {1, 1, 7, 7}, {1, 1, 7, 8}, {1, 1, 7, 9}, {1, 1, 8, 10}, {1, 1, 9, 9}, {1, 1, 9, 10}, {1, 1, 10, 10}, {1, 2, 2, 2}, {1, 2, 9, 10}, {1, 2, 10, 10}, {1, 4, 9, 9}, {1, 5, 7, 7}, {1, 6, 6, 7}, {1, 6, 7, 7}, {1, 6, 7, 8}, {1, 6, 10, 10}, {1, 7, 7, 7}, {1, 7, 7, 8}, {1, 7, 10, 10}, {1, 8, 9, 9}, {1, 8, 9, 10}, {1, 8, 10, 10}, {1, 9, 9, 9}, {1, 9, 9, 10}, {1, 9, 10, 10}, {1, 10, 10, 10}, {2, 2, 2, 2}, {2, 2, 7, 9}, {2, 6, 7, 7}, {2, 7, 7, 7}, {2, 7, 7, 9}, {2, 7, 8, 10}, {2, 7, 9, 9}, {2, 9, 9, 9}, {2, 9, 9, 10}, {2, 10, 10, 10}, {3, 3, 4, 10}, {3, 3, 10, 10}, {3, 4, 6, 7}, {3, 5, 5, 10}, {3, 5, 7, 7}, {3, 5, 8, 10}, {3, 10, 10, 10}, {4, 4, 5, 9}, {4, 4, 6, 6}, {4, 4, 6, 7}, {4, 4, 9, 9}, {4, 4, 9, 10}, {4, 7, 7, 9}, {4, 7, 7, 10}, {4, 9, 9, 9}, {4, 9, 10, 10}, {4, 10, 10, 10}, {5, 5, 5, 7}, {5, 5, 5, 8}, {5, 5, 5, 10}, {5, 5, 6, 9}, {5, 5, 6, 10}, {5, 5, 7, 9}, {5, 6, 7, 10}, {5, 7, 7, 7}, {5, 7, 7, 8}, {5, 7, 9, 9}, {5, 8, 9, 9}, {5, 8, 10, 10}, {5, 9, 9, 9}, {5, 9, 9, 10}, {5, 10, 10, 10}, {6, 6, 6, 7}, {6, 6, 7, 7}, {6, 6, 7, 8}, {6, 6, 10, 10}, {6, 7, 7, 7}, {6, 7, 7, 8}, {6, 7, 7, 9}, {6, 7, 8, 8}, {6, 8, 10, 10}, {6, 9, 9, 9}, {6, 9, 10, 10}, {7, 7, 7, 7}, {7, 7, 7, 8}, {7, 7, 7, 9}, {7, 7, 7, 10}, {7, 7, 8, 8}, {7, 7, 8, 9}, {7, 7, 8, 10}, {7, 7, 9, 9}, {7, 7, 10, 10}, {7, 8, 8, 8}, {7, 9, 9, 9}, {7, 9, 9, 10}, {7, 9, 10, 10}, {7, 10, 10, 10}, {8, 8, 8, 8}, {8, 8, 8, 9}, {8, 8, 9, 9}, {8, 8, 10, 10}, {8, 9, 9, 9}, {8, 9, 9, 10}, {8, 9, 10, 10}, {8, 10, 10, 10}, {9, 9, 9, 9}, {9, 9, 9, 10}, {9, 9, 10, 10}, {9, 10, 10, 10}, {10, 10, 10, 10}}.

Next chapter, we add Mod[].

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