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:


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.

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