LONDON - Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson returned to the house on 221-B Baker Street, after a sleepless night spent in ambush while investigating a case. Surprisingly, Inspector Lestrade and Wang Tao were waiting for them to play mahjong.

"We are here because we have agreed to play on Sunday at 10 a.m.," said Mr. Lestrade.

"Wow, it's already Sunday," answered Dr. Watson with very sleepy eyes.

So the game started, the dice were thrown, the wall was broken, and the tiles were dealt. Before East prepared to shed his first discard, however, something totally unexpected happened. Dr. Watson fell asleep.

"What should we do Now? Mrs. Hudson is out. Can we play with just three?" asked Mr. Lestrade, looking at snoring Dr. Watson.

"I propose we play as much as we can, and then we'll decide," said Mr. Holmes.

So the game continued. Players played their tiles, making declarations, when after "Hu", Dr. Watson woke up.

"Gentlemen, I had very interesting dreams. The last one resembled this "Hu" declaration. Well, I see the deal has now finished."

Question (): Provided Dr. Watson did not play while sleeping, and the deal continued for as long as it was possible without disturbing Dr. Watson, please tell how many dreams Dr. Watson saw during his sleep, where each dream corresponds to exactly one successful declaration: "Flower", "Chow", "Pung", "Kong", "Hu". For clarity, there were no false "Hu" declarations.

Prizes generously provided by the publishers of Mahjong Collector Magazine, and by Holiday Mahjong Online.

People in this conversation

Comments (23)

Subscribe:
Load Previous Comments
  • Guest - marco montebelli

    the total is 32 (or 33, if hu is called from two players correctly, but only one payable), corresponding to 8 flowers, 11 pungs became 11 kongs, 1 kong immediate from the player after mr. watson, 1 (or 2, see above) hu.

  • Guest - Menno Deij - van Rijswijk

    The wording of the question is rather vague, as it is not even mentioned who is east in the deal. It is therefore not even possible to determine the number of tiles that are in play because we don't know how many tiles were dealt to Mr. Watson who fell asleep. The wording therefore leads me to conclude that this question does not have a single definite answer. Rather, it points me to the possibilities of the number of declarations in a game with 3 players.

    The only declaration that can be said with certainty is the declaration of hu. This is done once, after Mr. Watson wakes up. It is possible that this was the only declaration in the whole game, if all players have a closed hand and all flowers are in the wall. 1 dream for mr Watson.

    The other extreme possibility is that everyone who is playing is waiting for a melded hand and has declared 4 sets each, and all flowers have been played. For 3 players this 12 sets. To find the maximum number of calls, let's assume that all sets are first pungs (12 declarations) which are all upgraded to kongs (another 12 declarations).

    In that case Mr. Watson has 33 dreams (8x flower, 12x pung, 12x kong and 1x hu declaration).

    Any scenario in between these two extremes is possible, so my answer is that Mr. Watson has at least one 1 and at most 33 dreams.

  • Guest - Matthieu Pfeiffer

    Hi Vitaly,
    Please find below my answer to this week mystery.
    Regardless of where Watson is seating, each of the 3 players declare pungs and kongs until they have melded hand.
    During the process the 8 flowers have been replaced.
    Finally, they all 3 end up with 4 melded kongs and the last kong called ends up in Hu.
    It seems more like a nightmare than a dream :o:o:o
    To sum up, we have :
    3x4 pungs
    3x4 kongs
    8x flowers
    1x hu
    Which makes a total of 33 dreams.

  • Guest - Anh-Vu Tran

    Hello,

    Here is my response:
    The deal continued as long as possible, therefore we must count the maximum number of successful declarations.
    In order to maximize declaration, each players (except Dr. Watson) shall claim 4 pungs and extend each pung by a melded kong.
    Therefore there are 8 flowers + 4*3 pungs + 4*3 kongs + 1 hu.
    Dr. Watson did 33 dreams !

    Regards,
    Anh-Vu

  • So far 12 contestants have submitted their answers for Mystery #2 getting extra SHP for quick reply. Altogether, 23 contestants compete for the prizes.

  • Guest - Oh Yong Sing

    Since Dr Watson did not have more than one dream with the same declaration, then the maximum number of dreams he had would be 5.

    Here is a scenario, assuming that Dr Watson is sitting in the North position:

    1. East discarded first tile.
    2. South drew a flower tile, did replacement, and then discarded a tile. (1st dream)
    3. West "Chow" South's tile and then discarded a tile. (2nd dream)
    4. East "Pung" West's tile and then discarded a tile. (3rd dream)
    5. South "Kong" East's tile, did replacement, and then discarded a tile. (4th dream)
    6. West "Hu" South's tile. (5th dream)

  • Guest - Ow Zhong Ming

    41

  • Guest - Ow Zhong Ming

    25

  • Guest - Ow Zhong Ming

    4 pongs and 4 kongs from all 3 other players plus a "Hu" declaration at the end

  • Guest - Menno Deij - van Rijswijk

    How to get the maximum declarations in one game:

    After the deal, there are 91 tiles left in the wall (144 - 3x13 - 14). Let's assume that all the flowers are left in the wall, with no replacements to be made prior to the first discard.

    Then repeat the following scenario 8 times:

    player draws a tile, discovers it is a flower, takes a replacement tile from the wall, discards it. (2 tiles taken in one turn)
    another player claims the discard to make a pung and discards a tile.

    After this has happened 8 times there are 8 flowers and 8 pungs on the table. 16 tiles were taken from the wall, leaving 75 tiles in the wall. 8 flower and 8 pung declarations are made: 16 declarations/dreams.

    Then repeat the following scenario 4 times:

    next player draws a tile and uses it to upgrade one of their pungs to a kong, takes a replacement tile and discards it (2 tiles taken in one turn)
    another player claims the discard to make a pung and discards another tile.

    After this has happened 4 times there are 8 flowers, 4 kongs and 8 pungs on the table. 8 tiles were taken from the wall, leaving 67 tiles in the wall. 4 kong and 4 pung declarations made. 24 declarations/dreams.

    Then repeat the following scenario 8 times:

    next player draws a tile and uses it to upgrade one of their pungs to a kong, takes a replacement tile and discards it (2 tiles taken in one turn).

    After this has happened 8 times there are 8 flowers and 12 kongs on the table. 16 tiles were taken from the wall, leaving 49 tiles in the wall. 8 kong declarations were made. 32 declarations/dreams. Depending on the distribution of pungs/kongs between the players a few extra draws may be necessary here, but there are suffcient tiles left in the wall.

    Now all players are waiting for melded hand with 4 open kongs.

    Then on a draw or discard one or draw one of the players declares "hu" and makes the 33rd declaration/dream.

    Unless I have missed something in the wording of the question why a player cannot make a claim, it seems to be possible to make 33 declarations.

Post comment as a guest

0