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Is there a general name for the kind of problem the contestants try to solve in that round of the show? I've encountered variants of it "in the wild" in a game we played at university. People would challenge each other to place arithmetic operators and parentheses between the digits of the serial number printed on bus tickets to get the number 100, with some variations. Despite playing this game for quite a bit I never learned any name for it or the problem it used; I asked other people who played it and nobody knew one, either.

Googling around finds the exact question on Programmers SE (https://programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/213924/name-...) but no answer.

Any problem with the Countdown Numbers Game as a name? Any variations on it could simply be called Modified Countdown Numbers Game.

I'm glad there's an established name to attach to this problem but when I searched for them I didn't find variations of "Countdown numbers round problem/game" mentioned in books on mathematics/theoretical CS or in research articles. The idea behind the basic problem seems obvious and must have occurred to many people, so the lack of such mentions makes me suspect it may have a different canonical name as a specific type of combinatorial optimization problem. If there isn't one then "Countdown numbers (round) problem" will do just fine (I'd say "problem" is better than "game" because looked at like this it is not a game with players in a game-theoretical sense).

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