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Thursday 18 November 2004 5.30pm
Friday 19 November 2004 9.06am
I can't believe this. Who can explain?
Friday 19 November 2004 9.21am
Infuriating isn't it - next time, before you click on the magic number, try loads of different ones in your head (ok, use your fingers and toes if it helps) - you'll see there's only a few 'answers' and they all have the same symbol - it's just one of those arithmetical quirks. Looks really impressive though...

Basically you always end up on a multiple of 9 - there are other numbers with the symbol, but they are just there to distract, divert and obscure the pattern... sorry to spoil the mystery, but it will really cause confusion in the office, till some maths nerd explains it (like I had done to me when I saw this for the first time a couple of years ago)

Friday 19 November 2004 9.40am
thanks! one frustration less today.
Friday 19 November 2004 10.12am
if you think of a two digit number as 10 times a plus b and then subtract from that (a+b) it simpilfies to 9a so the number that you look at is nine times the first digit of the two digit number you first thought of....

ie 23 is 10 times 2 plus 3, then you subtract 3 and then subtract 2, and you get 18 which is 2 times 9.

clever, and interesting, but untimately not magic.
Friday 19 November 2004 4.31pm
ah but - im really really rubbish at maths (fingers and toes) so i just tried staring at a symbol - and it worked! (well, occasionally) so it is magic.....

please dont tell me there's no santa...
Sunday 21 November 2004 9.54pm

...of course there is, but you have been quite naughty this year - shape up quick or its a lump of coal in your stocking.


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