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Experience:  MIT Graduate (Math, Programming, Science, and Music)
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# For ***** ****** only" *****, Thank you again for your

### Customer Question

For ***** ****** only"
*****,
Thank you again for your expertise on this project.
I copied all the combinations into a new, fresh spreadsheet with no formulas contained. (Spreadsheet attached).
Here’s that new challenge I mentioned I had for you (and I will be as specific as I can).
I need to be able to sort ALL the combinations to find specific numbers contained in each combination.
More specifically, I need to find all combinations from the list that contain TWO specific numbers, THREE specific numbers, FOUR specific numbers, and FIVE specific numbers.
Example:
I need to be able to find ALL the combinations from the list that contain these THREE numbers: 01,02,10
Ideally, I would type in 01,02,10 and the query results would be something like this:
01,02,10,23,25
01,02,10,23,27
01,02,10,23,29
01,02,10,23,35
01,02,10,23,37
01,02,10,23,39
01,02,10,25,27
I hope that is specific enough. If not, please let me know.
I attached an “Example Template” (no formulas in it, it’s just an idea of what I’m looking for).
Can you create a template that allows me to type in 2, 3, 4, or 5 numbers that sorts ALL the combinations to find ALL the combinations that contain the numbers I type in?
Thank you again Bruce,
-William-
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Homework
Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 4 months ago.

Well, almost. What if the numbers are not in sequence? Would your query for 1,10,20 be expected to match this:

1,4,10,20,33

? We can still solve it, albeit more sloppily; I just need to know the PRECISE semantic, as they say.

Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 4 months ago.

In response to earlier question, yes, but, well, not exactly. Purpose same, mechanism different. We wouldn't sort all those to look for these; we would instead look for those in sorted variants of these. Same zebra, different stripes.

Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 4 months ago.

HUH?

Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 4 months ago.

Just wondering about your actual application here--not that it's any of my business. Are you, like, a state organization tracking winning lottery combinations, or some such?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
You are correct Sir.
It wouldn't matter what numbers I queried, whether they're in sequence or not.
1,4,10,20,33 WOULD be a match for the the query 1,10,20,.
Another example:
06,13,28,31,39 would be a match for 13,39
Does that help?
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
My application is not that grandiose.
I am just a college student working on an "Odds and Statistics" paper.
Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 4 months ago.

Fair enough. Kindly share with me why it's useful to hunt for a random set of numbers within a longer set of numbers as an "odds and statistics" application.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I understand you curiosity Bruce however, I am am no typist. So simply put, I need to find out how many times certain combinations of numbers come up over time. It's a little complicated. Can you help me?
Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 4 months ago.

Post a spreadsheet, and you've got it. It's not complicated, it's just sloppy.

Still need to know what possible pratical application this has--for my own curiosity.

Surely you realize that random numbers will occur randomly. If you're trying to predict something from which you'll make money, it ain't gonna happen.

Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 4 months ago.

You type the numbers that you're looking for into a set of from one to five neighboring cells, that is,

M1 and maybe also N1 and maybe also O1 and maybe also P1 and maybe also Q1

They don't have to be in order; they don't have to have leading zeroes

Magic is automatically performed

The spreadsheet is then automatically embellished so that every matching row has a "Y" (for "yes") displayed next to it, while non-matching rows don't. Or--you could just get a count of how many rows matched displayed in some other cell.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I'm sorry Bruce but I have no idea what you're saying.
I don't speak computer lingo.
Is it possible to just make the template so that I could type in my queries for a match?
Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 4 months ago.

That ain't computer lingo. How are you going to specify what numbers you want to search for unless you type them into somewhere? Did you expect the computer to read your mind, perhaps? Impossible to help you if I suggest a solution and your response is "I don't speak computer lingo." Without specifying what we're talking about, no progress is achievable. Come, now!
You seem not to be happy with any attempt at terminological precision. Do we not use terms and jargon with rigorous precision in ALL the sciences? Not sure how you're going to achieve your goals in statistics without resorting to jargon and lingo.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
That's why I sent you the "Example Template".
Can you create something like this?
Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 4 months ago.

Populating a fresh column by grabbing the matching sets and reformatting them tightly will take macros. Won't be compatible with all versions. Sending the spreadsheets here and there, firewalls will disable them.

If you're happy with matches indicated by a "Y" or "YES," it's very straightforward and quick as a flash to execute. It will look like this:

Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 4 months ago.

Donning flip-flops and grabbing umbrella and lantern to head down to main pool and attempt to score sodas and snacks before vending machines die pursuant to electrical problems attending approaching hurricane.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No Bruce,
That's not what I'm looking for.
Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 4 months ago.

Oh. Seems to me it does precisely the same thing, identifying every match--especially as you weren't really sure what you wanted, dismissing my attempts to characterize it as 'lingo" ;-)

I also figured that one line of code that wouldn't be disabled by every intervening firewall would be better than forty lines' worth of VBA macros.

Expert:  Bruce Wilner replied 4 months ago.

I guess you prefer the problem to remain unsolved. O.K.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
What?