## Friday, August 31, 2007

### Solution: Big Hands

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This is a set of 25 playing cards. Each trio of letters gives the rank (2-9,T,J,Q,K,A) and the suit (Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades), followed by a letter or "*" which will be used at the end of the puzzle.

As the title and instruction imply, these 25 cards can be arranged into one each of the top 5 poker hands (Royal Straight Flush, Straight Flush, Four of a Kind, Full House, and Flush) as follows:
`AC, KC, QC, JC, TC (royal straight flush)7S, 6S, 5S, 4S, 3S (straight flush)9H, 8S, 8H, 8D, 8C (4 of a kind)AH, AD, 4H, 4D, 4C (full house)KD, QD, JD, TD, 3D (flush)`
Note that within each hand, cards are kept in the same descending order as in the original puzzle listing. Now, by reading off the third letter (or "*") associated with each card in this new order, we get:
`T*T*L*FR*NKS*NF**R*F*K*ND`
By filling in the vowels, we get "Total of ranks in four of a kind." The cards involved in the four of a kind are four 8s and a 9, which total up to 41, a number between 33 and 52, and the solution to this puzzle.