Once I was tired, ending a long trip, seated on the airplane about to leave for home, veering towards passing out, when the Pilot comes out, says he has puzzles of us, and if we solved them, we would get gifts.
- What is the distance from SF to Seattle in Nautical miles? His hint was: area code of Missouri. I guessed the distance was like 1000km or roughly 700 regular miles and since a nautical mile was larger than regular mile, guessed the answer to be like 600 or 610 (in tel area code, I know enough about npa-nxx numbering to guess that the second digit was probably 0/1). He said close enough.
- At what height will the flight from SF to Seattle operate if its route is North with a little bit to the west? I know that flights to west operate at even heights plus 500 (once to east operate at odd plus 500), and most flights operate above 30k ft, so I guessed 32500. His answer was close enough.
- What is the flight time from SF to Seattle? His hint was: Baccardi minus 13. I knew there was a Baccardi 151 and so guessed 1 hr 40 min since it had to be more than 1 hr but less than 2. His answer was close enough.
What did we get us gifts, I dont recall, but the whole exercise cheered me up. It is one pleasure to solve precise mathematical problems, yet another to guess like above, reality in mind.