Cops and Robbers *coughcough*

(Okay, the “*coughcough*” was mostly random.) When you see the words “Cops and Robbers,” there are a couple things you might think of. One of these things is a game called Cops and Robbers (see more in blockquote below). The game is the closest to what I’m talking about.

Today for math, I did a graphing game on the computer called: Cops and Robbers. In the game, you were supposed to find the robber by entering a guess of what the “robber’s” (x,y) position was. If you guessed wrong, it would put a little blue dot in that position that had a number on it. That number told people how many “paces” the robber was away; most the time those paces weren’t just straight lines.

So what happened?

At the start I just played normally: make a guess, then go from there. Then I randomly started clicking the “test coords” button with the same “coords” (coordinates) entered. My mom and I started joking about this, and I told her that if the game had me down for a ridiculous number of guesses, we’d know that it counted my extra clicks. She said, “If it says something like ‘You took 72 guesses,’ we’ll know it did.”

Later as I was playing with it, she wondered if we actually could make 72 guesses. (The game didn’t count my extra clicks.) I said it was easy to find out, and I started a math problem to see how many guesses we could make. It turned out to be 169.

At first Mom thought it would be hard to make all the guesses because we’d probably accidentally hit the Robber. But I pointed out: “No, we wouldn’t even have to find the Robber; we’d just have to find where the robber CAN’T be.” This made me go off and want to try. And look at what I did:

I hope I can find it in less šŸ˜‰

Afterward my Mom told me that the definition of a circle is “all the points that are the same distance from the center.” She also told me about taxi cab geometry — How many ways can the taxi cab go around the city — then she asked me to find the “circles” in this:

Turns out hard work DOES pay off!

If you have a hard time seeing it there here’s a close up that might at least give you a hint:

The only place without a pin is the robber šŸ˜‰

So yeah. That was my math for today. Now for that blockquote I promised you:

Cops and Robbers, sometimes called ‘team tag’, ‘Chase’, ‘Police and Thief’, Prisoner’s Base, Jailbreak or ‘Manhunt’ has players split into two teams: cops (the ‘it’ team who are in pursuit) and robbers (the team being chased). The cops ‘arrest’ the robbers by tagging, and put them in ‘jail’. Robbers can stage a jailbreak by tagging one of the prisoners without getting tagged themselves. The game ends if all the robbers are in jail. In a variant, the robbers have 5 minutes to hide before being hunted, and only one jailbreak may be allowed per robber.

I got this from Wikipedia on a page called “Tag (game)”.

Now I hoped you enjoyed that post about my math-life šŸ˜‰ Thank you and good day!


  1. “Verry interesting…” You won’t know what that comment is from but maybe your mom remembers the old Laugh-in show and the Nazi that hid in the bushes. Ask her if she remembers that. Anyway, I enjoyed your explanation.


  2. I didn’t really understand that, but interesting. 169 is 132 (squared) so that would seem to be the lowest number of guesses that would be sure you would hit the robber.

    (Oh, if my HTML didn’t turn out, sorry)


  3. Hi, Gecko! You can show an exponent with the caret symbol in email and blog comments:
    13^2 = 169.

    Also, the lowest number of guesses in which you can be sure to get the robber is 3, if you use the right strategy. I won’t tell you what that strategy is, because it’s a fun challenge to find it for yourself. (But I’ll give a hint: It has to do with the taxicab geometry circles that Kitten mentioned in her post.)

    For more information about taxicab geometry, look here.


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