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# The Countdown Numbers Game

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The Countdown Numbers Game

Samir Khan

Countdown is a popular numbers and letters quiz program on UK television.  In one of the rounds, the contestants must use a range of basic arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) to make six seed numbers equal a target.

The seed numbers are randomly selected from a restsricted set of large numbers (25, 50, 75 and 100) and small numbers (1 to 9), and the target is a random integer between 101 and 999.  Not all the seeds have to be used, but each can only be used as many times as it appears.

This Maple worksheet automatically provides a solution for the numbers game by searching the solution space.

• Seed and target numbers can be randomly generated or manually specified.  If randomly generated, two seeds will be large numbers, with the remaining seeds small numbers.

• The worksheet halts execution as soon as the first solution is found (although there may be many other, possibly simpler, solutions).

• If the target cannot be found after searching the solution space, then the closest solution will be returned.  This can take several minutes.

 Seed Target