The
MY Missile
Copyright ©1997 by Paul Niquette. All rights reserved. |

t was convenient for our analysis in this puzzle that the Soviets chose names of towns near their launch complexes such that we may substitute A, B, C, D for their abbreviations. Also, the use of 0 and 1 may have mnemonic value, representing OUT and IN for the instantaneous placement of missiles. Thus...
Sophisticated solvers will recognize
that particular sequence
for postulating Soviet missile movements as "reflected
binary." The right-most
non-zero columns reflect vertically the binary values
in the table above
the (2
Thus, assuming that the Soviets wanted to distribute the moves uniformly among their missiles, they would have chosen a sequence as indicated in the table. {HyperNote}
n
the early sixties, this "state assignment" solution
was discovered during
the logical design of a peripheral controller and
came to be called a "Niquette
Counter." It exploited the observation that
for a finite automaton
with 2 -
The design of the earliest automata will
be forever credited
to heavyweights in the logic arena dating back to
Aristotle, with a raft
of logicians showing up in the 19-Century to help out:
George Bentham,
George Boole, D.F. Gregory, Sir William Hamilton,
Georg von Holland, Henry
Longueville Mansel, O.H. Mitchell, Augustus De Morgan,
George Peacock,
Charles Sanders Peirce, Thomas Solly, J. Veitch, and
John Venn.
foozling that
did the trick.
Oh well, a simple adaptation of the "Veitch diagram"
came in handy.
It is one of the logical tools long familiar to
designers of computers,
whether maxi, mini, or micro. Here is how the
diagram looked after
the solution was found, with the numbers in the squares
corresponding to
the sequence numbers in the rows of the table above.
Now that you have seen the solution, you might try starting with a blank table and creating your own Niquette Counter. Care to guess how many there are? Finally, suppose that U.S. spy
satellites discovered extra
roadways being built by the Russians, such that
squadrons of MY missiles
could be moved into and out of their respective launch
sites up to three
at a time. Sophisticated solvers might enjoy
strategizing retrospcctively
on behalf of the Kremlin, with the objective of
maximizing the security
of the MY missiles while still assuring that all
weapons are moved in equal
amounts. { |

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