Earlier today I set you a quiz about Twitter slang, and a maths puzzle. Here are the answers, with discussion and workings!

The following ten words and phrases emerged in Twitter communities, and are beginning to cross over to general users. Under each word or phrase are two possible definitions. Which is the correct one?

I’ve marked the correct answers in **bold**.

STAN

In 2000 Eminem released the song Stan that is rapped from the point of view of a fan obsessed with him. The word was adopted by Twitter users both as a verb (i.e I stan Khaleesi) and as a noun to describe intense endearment for a particular thing. In fact, the term ‘Stan Twitter’ has come to mean the community of hard core Twitter users. All the words in today’s quiz are considered “Stan language.”

TEA

Originally popular in the black gay community, coming from the idea of ladies sipping tea together. Was reinforced by the popular Kermit the Frog sipping tea meme.

WIG

Abbreviation of wiggle, i.e. a flirtatious comment used to get attention.

**Something is so exciting your wig flew off.**

Again, originated in the drag culture of the black LGBTQ community. Before it was just wig it was ‘Wig: flew’.

OOMF

Laziness

**One Of My Followers**

A way of talking about someone without them knowing.

LOCAL

**Uncool people, who live online in a bubble of hometown pals from and are always late with memes**Cool people, who live in the global community and are always the first with memes

YOUR MIND

**a term of endearment**an insult

IRLs

COINS

I FEEL SEEN

SNACK

When someone is more than a snack, they can be a meal, or a full course meal.

And the puzzle:

A school composed of an equal number of boys and girls has its own social network. When two pupils are connected in this network they are said to be “pals”. Every pupil has at least one pal. Bernardo, who has 32 pals, discovers that all his fellow pupils have a different number of pals.

*How many pupils attend the school?*

**Solution**: 64

**Explanation.** Let *n* be the number of pupils in the school. The highest possible number of pals is therefore *n* – 1. If everyone has at least one pal, and everyone (excluding Bernardo) has a different number of pals, then every number of pals from 1 to *n *–1 must be accounted for. (Bernardo has the same number of pals as one other person in the school. Our strategy is to work out who that person must be, and from that to extrapolate the number of pupils).

Say that the person with x pals is P(x).

P(*n *– 1) is pals with everyone, including P(1), who has no other pals.

P(*n *– 2) is pals with everyone except P(1). P(*n *– 2) is thus pals with P(2), who has no other pals apart from P(*n *– 1) and P(*n *– 2).

P(*n *– 3) is pals with everyone except P(1) and P(2). P(*n *– 3) is thus pals with P(3), who has no other pals apart from P(*n *– 1), P(*n *– 2) and P(*n *– 3)

We can continue enumerating pairs, alternately taking a pupil from the most connected, and least connected, until we are left with the student who is in the middle of the ranking, or P(*n*/2). (We know there is a single person in the middle of the ranking because we know *n *is even, as there are equal numbers of boys and girls, so *n* – 1 is odd). Bernardo must also have *n*/2 pals. He cannot have more pals than *n/*2 since if he did he would have to be pals with pupils who we have already assigned all their pals to, and he cannot have less pals than *n*/2 since that would mean he is not pals with people who we know he must be pals with. If Bernardo has 32 pals, the total number must be 64.

I hope you enjoyed today’s puzzles. I’ll be back in two weeks.

(If you need a puzzle fix before then, why not try this year’s Royal Statistical Society Christmas Quiz. The top 10 entries win a £25 donation to their chosen charity.)

*I set a puzzle here every two weeks on a Monday. I’m always on the look-out for great puzzles. If you would like to suggest one, email me.*

*I’m the author of several books of popular maths, including the puzzle books Can You Solve My Problems? and Puzzle Ninja. I also write the Football School book series for children aged 7-13.*

*Thanks to Twitter, Bernardo Recamán and Moses Klein for help on today’s puzzles.*