Problems & Puzzles: Puzzles

 Puzzle 861. Puzzle 1467, by Claudio Meller Claudio Meller posted his puzzle 1467 in his always interesting pages. The target of the puzzle is to select k positive integers{ N1, N2,... , Nk} such that each the first n primes may be formed only adding or subtracting all or some of these k integers. He provides the following example. For k=5 & N={2, 5, 6, 12 & 54} -> n=22: 2 = 2 3 = 5-2 5 = 5 7 = 5+2 11 = 5+6 13 = 6+5+2 17 = 12+5 19 = 12+5+2 23 = 12+6+5 29 = 54-12-6-5-2 31 = 54-12-6-5 37 = 54-12-5 41 = 54-2-5-6 43 = 54-5-6 47 = 54-5-2 53  = 54+6-5 59 = 54+5 61 = 54+5+2 67 = 54+2+5+6 71 = 54+5+12 73 = 54+ 2+5+12 79 = 54+12+6+5+2 I will add that this solution deserves the qualification Q=n/k. In this example Q=22/5=4.4. Claudio is not sure that this example is the optimum for k=5 Q. Send your solution with your best Q value for k=2, 3, 4, ... 10.

Contributions came from Michael Hürter and Emmanuel Vantieghem.

***

Michael wrote:

I have the following results (not sure these are the maximal possible Q values for each k):

k   n     Solution - Q
2   4     2 5 - 2
3   8     2 11 6 - 8/3
4   17    27 8 6 18 - 17/4
5   40    20 2 60 6 85 - 8
6   99    2 60 255 180 20 6 - 33/2
7   223   180 565 42 54 160 60 540 - 223/7
8   505   1433 162 486 18 6 356 1446 54 - 505/8
9   1336  4374 2588 486 96 90 4487 1458 162 108 - 1336/9
10  3793  13080 486 6 15999 54 18 4366 1454 162 4 - 3793/10

***

Emmanuel wrote:

Here I list  k, N, Q  and the greatest prime obtained

2, {2, 5}, 2, 7
3, {2, 5, 6}, 7/3, 13
4, {1,3,9,30}, 7/2, 43
5, {1,3,9,27,81}, 6.4, 131
6, {1,3,9,27,81,248}, 73/6, 367
7, {1,3,9,27,81,243,731}, 183/7, 1093
8, {1,3,9,27,81,243,729,2190}, 231/4, 3271
9, {1,3,9,27,81,243,729,2187,6579}, 1217/9, 9859
10, {1,3,9,27,81,243,729,2187,6561,19692}, 1603/5, 29531

For  k > 3, I took for  N  the set :
{1, 3, ... , 3^(k-2), X},
where  X = NextPrime[u] + u, where  u = (3^(k-1)-1)/2 = 1+3+...+3^(k-2).
Then, Q will be : PrimePi[X+u]/k.
Indeed, with the first  k-1  elements of  N  I can make all numbers from  1 to u (easy to prove by induction).  Then, I took  X  such that  X-u  equals the smallest prime number that was not obtained.
In that way I was ensured that I could make all the other primes up to  X+u.
But, I'm not sure that this method gives allways the best possible  Q.

***

Emmanuel wrote again on Dec 31, 2016:

When I saw Michaels' strong results, I realized that I could adapt my method.
I used sets of the form :
{2, 6, ... , 2*3^(n-1), X}
with  X = 3 + (2 + 6 + ... + 2*3^(n-1)) = 2 + 3^n.

Such a set always produces all the primes between  2  and  X + (2 + 6 + ... + 2*3^(n-1)) = X + 3^n - 1.

For  n < 6  they produce less primes than Michael's.

For  n > 5 they produce more :
(I list : k, the number of produced primes, N, Q  and the biggest prime produced) :
7, 232, {2, 6, 18, 54, 162, 486, 731}, 232/7, 1459
8, 597, {2, 6, 18, 54, 162, 486, 1458, 2189} , 597/8, 4373
9, 1561, {2, 6, 18, 54, 162, 486, 1458, 4374, 6563} , 1561/9, 13121
10, 4144, {2, 6, 18, 54, 162, 486, 1458, 4374, 13122, 19685}, 2072/5, 39367

Of course, this table is easily extendable, but, I still am not sure the Q are maximal.

***

 Records   |  Conjectures  |  Problems  |  Puzzles