Mathman 20 - Flamingo Express Brittany Rosenau, Mandy Weston, and Katie Zeamer

 Terrain: Grassy park Difficulty: Depends on math ability Placed by: The Dragon (Mathman) and his Honors Advanced Algebra students of 2005-06 Location: Jackson, WI County: Washington, WI Materials needed: Calculator, Compass, Writing Utensil, Personal Stamp, Inking Pens

Students and parents of students should read my introduction to letterboxing before seeking the boxes.

These clues rely on the use of matrices to encode/decode clues.  Go to this page to learn how to do this on a free graphics calculator simulator or to do it by hand.

Be sure to read through all the clues before looking for the boxes so you know what is expected of you.

Clues:

Start at Morning Star Lutheran School: N171W20131 Highland Road, Jackson, WI  53037.  If you go east from Hwy 45 on Hwy 60 to Jackson Dr., you might spot a pink flamingo near the Post Office!  On your way north of Hwy 60 on Jackson Dr., you might also spot a clue on the way to Highland Road......

This box is best done after school or on non-school days.

1. Begin at the flagpole in front of the school

Count the number of red stripes on the flag, this number goes into the first blank below.

Now count the number of white stripes, and put this number into the second blank below.

(X+ __) (X+ __)  =  ax2 + bx + c

FOIL to get a quadratic expression.  Square the coefficient of the linear term and subtract

the number of stars on the flag to get your first bearing. _______

2. Count the number of boards that make up one bench by the flagpole, and insert this number into the second blank below.  Then walk on the bearing you found above until you meet a large door. Count the number of rows of rectangles on the garage door, insert this number into the first blank.

( X+ __ ) ( X+ __ )   =  ax2 + bx + c

FOIL to get a quadratic expression. "C" will be the number of paces you need to take west from the large door.

3. Find the value for each letter and substitute the values for the corresponding letters of the matrix.

 a-# of swings g-# of tetherball poles b-# of stairs h-# of sets of monkey bars c-# of gliders i-# of soccer goals d-# of beige covers over the playground j-# number of "swinging bobbers" e-# of benches k-# of handicap parking spaces in lot f-# of sections on the bridge l- last # on the mailbox in front of the school (by the pink sign)

Now add these two matrices and find out what letters correspond with each number in the new matrix ( Space=0, A=1, B=2, C=3, D=4, etc. )  This will tell you where to go next.

4. Once you reach your destination, start at the large camouflaged machine of war.  Stand in front of the rock and look at the water tower.  Determine the number of letters in the color of the water tower and insert this number into the space labeled X. To find Y take the number of big wheels on the tank times 97/7.

X  Y  384

Determine the common difference between each number.  This is your next bearing.  Walk in that direction.

5. When you come to the large fence, walk along the fence to the west until the end.  Count the number of courts along the way and substitute this value for x in the following direct variation equation:

1104 = kx

If  k < 180, take 30 paces on a bearing of k.

If k > 180, take 60 paces on a bearing of k.

6. Find the value for each letter and substitute the values for the corresponding letters of the matrix

 a-#of big kid swings f-#of slides b-# of little kid swings g-#of tires c-# of sheltered picnic tables h-# of steering wheels d-# of dinosaurs i-# of butterflies hanging on the mobiles e-#of green covers over the playground j-# of birds hanging on the mobiles

Now add these two matrices and find out what letters correspond with each number in the matrix

This will tell you where to go next. (Hint: NW)

7. Find the roots to this quadratic equation.

x2 + 5x - 14 = 0

Take the positive root and multiply it by the speed limit on the sign nearby.

This will give you the number of paces you are to take north from the back right (NW) corner of the fence.

8.  But before you go, solve the next clues....

Step 1:
Use the sign of rules on the chain link fence. Look at rule five. This is where you will find the phone number needed to figure this clue out.  Add the digits of the area code together and subtract the number of actual letters in the decoded answer of clue six above.

This number will be the coefficient of the quadratic term (a) below.

Step 2:
The number of wheels on a normal car is the coefficient of the linear term (b) below.

Decode the matrix below to see what you may be missing for Step 2.  Find the value for each letter and substitute the values for the corresponding letters of the matrix. (A= 1, B= 2, etc.)

a-# of letters on the Jackson water tower

b-# of license plates you are to have on your car in Wisconsin.

c- What # mathman letterbox is this

d-#of people who made this letterbox

Step 3:
Look at the phone number on the sign again. Add all the digits of the phone number and add 10 to get the value of the constant term (c) below.

Step 4:
Now enter a, b, and c into the following blanks to create a quadratic equation:

__x2 + __x - ___
a          b        c

Step 5:
Now find the roots. The positive root will give you the number of pine trees you are to count (count only the row of pine trees closest to the soccer field).

Start at the NW corner of the fence and walk the number of paces north you found in #7.  Then continue north counting the pine trees.

YOU ARE NEAR THE LETTERBOX SO BE SURE ALL IS CLEAR!  THEN GO SEARCH FOR IT AT THE BASE OF THE TREE.  WHEN YOU ARE DONE, COVER IT WELL WITH DEBRIS. THANKS!

Before you set out read the waiver of responsibility and disclaimer.

LbNA Home