Perplex City: Season 1, Cards #053 - #056

Continuing my Perplex City solutations. Spoilers!

  • #053 - Etaoin Schrdlu: MemmoOOries! I first ran across SHRDLU in #swhack back in 2004; herein, it refers to the "the approximate order of frequency of the twelve most commonly used letters in the English language, best known as a nonsense phrase that sometimes appeared in print in the days of "hot type" publishing due to a custom of Linotype machine operators." As the card suggests, this factoid isn't strictly related to the answers (which are 6 and 0). La Disparition (English: A Void) is quite famous for having not used the letter "e" on any of its 300 pages. "Uwierz mi", at the bottom right of the card, is Polish for "Believe me!"
  • #054 - 9 Ball: The question is specifically about the minimum number of weighings that have to be made to "find out" (not prove, merely "find out"), and 1 is as decent a minimum as any. There's a crapload of forum discussions about probabilities and case scenarios and yadda yadda yadda, but eh, glossy eyes and unfeigned indifference. Weigh 3 balls against 3 balls. If one set is lighter, there's your minimum of 1 weigh. If they balance, the set of balls you didn't weigh must be lighter (this presumes you know one ball is lighter, when the card only suggests you were "convinced" of it). Once you know which set is lighter, you'd narrow it down to the exact ball using the same approach, making it 2 weights total. More at (no, no, it's not).
  • #055 - Speed Sight: A relatively simple card: simply remove the polygons in order of their depth, and you'll get yellow, white, red, pink, purple, blue, orange, grey, green, and brown. The strictest definiton of a polygon ("a closed plane figure bounded by three or more line segments"), however, doesn't allow for the final brown circle to be included as part of the answer (unless, of course, it's not really a circle but a polygon of visually acute angles).
  • #056 - Gravity: This was another one of the first cards I ever solved, as it had been a free puzzle on the Perplex City website (thus, my physical card remains forever unscratched). I think it's fairly obvious: ball 4 will build up the most amount of speed due to the greater acceleration of its drop - the "gravity" of the card title.