A MATHS geek has come up with a tricky number puzzle – but do you have the skills to crack the code?
If you’re super savvy, you may be able to guess it from the first six numbers alone: 8, 18, 11, 15, 5, 4.
Mathematical guru Adam Spencer, author of The Number Games, has written the numbers 1 to 19 in a very specific order.
The puzzle requires players to complete the sequence by guessing the final five numbers.
It goes: 8, 18, 11, 15, 5, 4, 14, 9, 19, 1, 7, 17, 6, 16, ? , ?, ?, ?, ?
Eagle-eyed players will have noticed that the numbers he’s still got to add are 2, 3, 10, 12 and 13.
University of Sydney
Mathematical guru Adam Spencer came up with the number puzzle
But in which order should he put them, and why?
Hint: The order he’s written the numbers down in doesn’t obey any mathematical rule, nor is it counting any group of things.
To work out the rule that he’s following, you have to think of the numbers already in the pattern (8, 18, 11 and so on) not as numbers, but as something else.
Still not worked it out? Think of the numbers as words.
Write them out and what do you notice?
Adam advises thinking of the numbers as words
Here is the solution to the puzzle
Adam has written the numbers down alphabetically as they are spelled.
That is eight, eighteen, eleven, fifteen, five, four, fourteen, nine, and so on.
This is a trick used in a lot of famous number puzzles — a seemingly meaningless pattern of numbers is put forward, but when you treat the numbers as words, the pattern becomes obvious.
To complete the list, think of 2, 3, 10, 12, 13 as two, three, ten, twelve and thirteen, which would be written alphabetically as ten, thirteen, three, twelve, two.
So the remaining numbers should be written in that order; 10, 13, 3, 12, 2.
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Adam Spencer’s book The Number Games is available now from all good bookstores, or you can visit www.adamspencer.com.au.
This story originally appeared on news.com.au.
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