Search

 
Problem Description
Two "Puzzlers" from Car Talk, my favorite NPR radio show:
RAY: This is from my higher mathematics series and
it's a twist on a puzzler I gave some months ago. The idea for this puzzler
was sent in by Tim Davis.
He writes:
"How many times does the mileage on an odometer not contain the number 1 at
all?"
For example 999,999 doesn't have it. So the question is, how many times does
the mileage appear going from 000000 to all 9's (999,999), with no 1s at
all?
To refresh your memories, we had a puzzler last Fall asking how many times
the number 1 will appear on the odometer that goes from all zeroes, 000000,
to all nines, 999999, once it completely turns over. For example at mile
000111, the number 1 appears three times.
Background & Techniques
These puzzlers do not require a computer program to solve but
exhaustive search solutions are quite easy to code. Although the
problem asks about a specific digit, "1", and a specific integer length, 6,
it is just as easy for a program check any digit on any integer length.
All we have to do is collect the information from the user as input values.
I rephrased the "How many with no occurrences?" question to "How many
have exactly N occurrences?" which is an equivalent question when N=0.
For programmers, two items for your bag of tricks which are worth
remembering:
 I implemented 2 versions of counting digit occurrences of the second problem
just to compare run rimes:
 1). Convert each number to a string and count occurrences of
the character version of target digit in the string. 
 2).Mathematically count occurrences by the "div and mod" method
(even nonprogrammers can probably read and understand this code
Comments are in red).
While n<>0 do begin digit:=n mod 10;
{get the units digit} if digit=searchdigit then sum:=sum+1;
{check it} n:=n div 10;
{shift the number right
by one digit} end;
This second version is about 4 times faster than the first.


 The Format function
is a flexible method for creating formatted strings for output but has
no conversion type to convert an integer to a string with commas
("thousands separators" actually since the Europeans insist on
exchanging "," and "." characters). But if we
add 0.0 to the integer to be output, Delphi will convert it to
floating point and the %.0N format specifier will insert
thousands separators. appropriately. 
Running/Exploring the Program
Suggestions for Further Explorations
???
Original Date: June 14, 2009 
Modified:
February 18, 2016 


