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# Alphabet baseball

## Question

The local Literary Society had just enough members to field two teams, and so they decided one Saturday in June to play a baseball game down at the park. After members were assigned to teams, aptly named the Prose and the Cons, they purposed to determine which team would be the home team in a sort-of literary manner. The 18 players formed a circle and began counting, clockwise, using the letters of the alphabet rather than numbers. It was decided that if the "count" ever got to "Z" the next player would continue by calling out "A" and so on. The process would continue until a player named the letter that was also his initial. That player would then gain the honor of having his team bat last. The captain of the Cons went first, calling out "A", the next player called "B", and so it went.

Surprisingly, after 360 letters were called no player had called his initial. Well, said one, it was a nice thought, but hey let's just flip a coin, already. And thus the Prose were named home team. But by then it was dark, and the game was accordingly postponed until the following weekend.

But when they gathered next to play, there was a disagreement about who was on which team, owing to the fact that no one had bothered to write the rosters down.

No problem, though. All 18 members of the Lit Soc, Taylor, Brown, Jenkins, Miller, Gerson, Babcock, Adams, Randolph, Carver, Smith, Flynn, Sawyer, Timmons, Myers, Lucas, Morton, Young and Peters, were also long time members of BrainDen and thus had no difficulty at all in reconstructing the team rosters.

And neither should you. Who played for each team?

## Recommended Posts

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Does the circle alternate between teams? If so...

Cons: Taylor﻿, Brown, Jenkins, Babcock, Randolph, Flynn, Timmons, Lucas, Peter﻿s﻿

Prose: Miller, Gerson, Adams, Carver﻿, Smith, Sawyer, Myers, Morton, Young

Edited by Thalia
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20 hours ago, Thalia said:

Does the circle alternate between teams? If so...

Jenkins, Babcock and Morris recalled they were not standing next to a team mate; then several others said the same.

Smith and Peters agreed, but added that they were quite certain they weren't told to alternate, noting the process was supposed to make home team selection a random process.

They all agreed that it might have happened by chance.

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Well, there's an even number of players and an even number of letters. Once you've hit the 13th round, they start repeating letters. So if they alternate, all the Cons will have even letter (B, D, F, etc) initials and call odd letters. Prose have odd letter (A, C, E, ...) initials and call even.

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Ok what I was looking for is that if no one called their initial then they must have alternated teams when they formed the circle. So that fact didn’t need to be given as a separate condition or assumed. Initials occurring in odd positions of the alphabet must have held even positions in the circle.

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17 hours ago, bonanova said:

Initials occurring in odd positions of the alphabet must have held even positions in the circle.

That doesn't give any information about the team. The order could be Taylor, Miller,  Brown, Gerson Jenkins, Adams, Babcock, Carver, Randolph, Smith, Flynn, Sawyer, Timmons, Myers, Lucas, Morton, Peters, Young. The first 9 could be Cons and they still wouldn't call their initials.

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You're right. Nice solve.

Spoiler

Specifying the team of the first player to count would distinguish the teams, if they had been grouped. As it is, it only identified that player's team. I had the grouping in my mind but didn't put the basis into the clues.

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