By The Numbers!


You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I’m a numbers nerd.  That’s right!  Unlike everybody else I know, I didn’t get the numbers kicked out of me in school.  Yeah, algebra was a pain in the ass, and I’ve never used it since Mr. Wells ruled the halls of Kitsilano High, but I still love its symmetry.  The thing is numbers never fail, yet they remain as mysterious as the Sphinx.  For example, nobody, not even Watson (the Uber computer) can calculate Pi (π) but it still delivers the area of a circle every time. (Not that anybody has a burning need to know that – but it’s pretty cool.)  Actually, when I was a starving student at university, I used to play with numbers to win drinks.  I must confess that when you’re sipping hops with wannabe poets and Jane Austen fans, it was like shooting fish in a barrel, but … free beer is free beer … and I still don’t feel guilty.

Here are two bits of numerical magic that I remember.  (There were more.)  One of them has only failed once, and the other hasn’t failed yet.  Play along (be honest and no googling) and I’ll bet you a beer that — wherever you are in the world — my mastery over the telepathic power of numbers will let me know your answers.  And I’ll prove it at the end.

1 – Take the 8 digits of your birthday (DD – MM – YYYY) and write them down.
Scramble the numbers any way you like and write that down.
Subtract the smaller number from the larger one.
Place a 9 either at the beginning or the end of your answer.
Add all the numbers together until you get a single digit.
Subtract 6
Multiply by 41.
Regardless of what day you were born I already know the answer.

2 — Think of any 4 digit number.
Multiply it by 9.
Take the answer and add all the numbers together.
Place a 9 either at the beginning or the end of your answer.
Add all the numbers together again until you get a single digit.
Subtract 5.
Using the method 1=A, 2=B, 3=C, 4=D, 5=E, 6=F, etc. find the letter your number represents.
Think of a European country that starts with your letter.
Take the last letter of the country, and think of an animal that begins with that letter.
Take the last letter of the animal, and think of a fruit that begins with that letter.
If you did the puzzle in English, I already know your answers.


Numerical Magic One

If you’re under 100 years old, the answer is 123.  (I used it as the graphic.)

Numerical Magic Two

Your answers were Denmark, kangaroo and orange.

Somebody owes me a beer!

4 thoughts on “By The Numbers!

  1. I’ll concede you the beer on the first (partly because it’s too hard to do without pen and paper, both eluding me right now, and partly because it sounds familiar) but for the second I get Monaco, orangutan, nectarine. Maybe I just can’t follow directions – or I’m drawn to casinos. Hmm, I’ll concede that point also. Be well!

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