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The Numbers Quiz - June 21, 2011
Rating: 4.3/5 (90 votes cast)
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Spiked Math Comic - The Numbers Quiz

1. Try the quiz.
2. If completed, then see the solutions.

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Thanks for all the fish, can't figure that out, but my guess:

A, C, D, B, maybe F here, E, H, G, I, J

Let's see if my pre-university mind can guess this thing:

1.(B) Poker Hands
2.(J) Sudokus
3.(C) Jews killed
4.(D) Books cataloged
5.(F) Fish population
6.(G) Ant population
7.(H) Transistors made in 2008
8.(A) Human genes
9.(I) Sand grains
10.(E) Stars in the milky way

Awesome comic btw!

They look to be like they're in order. ABCDEFGHIJ

I think so too

"A" is number of genes not chromosomes.

Hmm. Ordering them alphabetically by the letter of the question, I'd have to say that it goes like this: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j. Of course, that's assuming that that's the correct key to sort on; it could be anything, even the magnitude of the answers to the questions.

Nuts, ninja'd.

I'd say they are almost in order (smallest to biggest)... I'd swap E and F... but the uncertainty on F is huge.


I think

A, C, D, B, F, E, H, G, I, J



i looked it up, and I~7.5*(10^18)
obviously, it's the highest.


E~2*10^11 to 4*10^11

I think it is as follows:

C — Jews killed
D — Catalouged books
J — Sudoku grids
F — Fish population
G — Ants
B — Poker combinations
I — Sand
A — Human's genes
E — stars in our galaxy

Just go from memory and estimates
A: 2e4-3e4 (estimates vary, but we know it is no higher than 3e4)
D: I would estimate on the order of e5
C: I think on the order of e7
B: 52*51*50*49*48~=3e8
E: I think on the order of e9 or e10
F: I would guess less than G (smells like a trick)
G: I would say at least an order of magniture more than the human population, so at least e10
H: I would guess less than I (smells like a trick), but probably greater than any of the others (with the possible exception of G)
I: I would estimate on the order of at least e12
J: The number of ways to arrange 9 digits is 9!. In the second row you have 8 choices (since for each place on number is no longer possible), so 9!*8!, and so on. That would be on ther order of e21. This may not take into account 3x3 blocks, but the value is still really high.

B: don't forget to divide by 5! The order of the cards doesn't matter.

silly people, the alphabet isn't numbers :P

That said I was going to make the same joke about them numbers being arranged by letter.

Okay, solutions are posted. As some people have guessed, it is already in order :P

first guess: (low) A, B, C, D, F, E, G, H, I, J (high).

But that's quite close to being in order anyway, and F is hard to estimate, so it's likely in order already, so I'll say:

A B C D E F G H I J.

Given the largeness of all the other things I find C's presence surprising and very depressing.

Sorry about that. Richard B. also commented about that via email and informed me of one of "the unspoken rules in nonacademic world of puzzling." Namely, not to upset the puzzler.

I wrote back saying "The reason I included it was because it was a shock to me that C > B. My thought process was that a lot of people would also think that there are way more poker hands, so I decided to include C to raise awareness of how terrible the Holocaust really was." I certainly didn't mean to offend or depress anyone, but rather educate - and at the time it didn't even occur to me it would put people off of the puzzle. My apologies, it's definitely something I will remember for future puzzles/etc.

Please excuse my poor english.
I think question A should be rephrase as :
"The number of genes in a human's cell " if you want an answer around 25000.

You are all wrong here. The Guide says that A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J are letters, and you were asked to put in order some numbers >:)


Silly boy! Don't you know the letters are variables that stand for the numbers? After all, this is Spiked MATH!

But then you may put any letters into the answer and say it's correct! What's the point in it, then?

Ummmm--because the comic identifies the value of the variables?

Reminds me of a verses for children, by Andrey Usachov. It's in Russian, but basically, it goes like this: "There are things that you won't count even if you would count for centuries. It's hard to count all the stars in the sky, and trees in a forest, or gnats in a swamp (...) It's a jackass's work to count uncountable, and if you don't think so, then go and count these yourself"

...Well, somebody did :) Viva la math!

why put in order? it's already in the correct order... a, b, c, d,e, f, g, h, i, j.
Hello from the humanities! :)

Again, it's Spiked MATH. The identity transformation is still a transformation.

Hell! But you said in J, "completed Sudoku Grids". I am sure that not all of the possibilities has been completed already by humans.

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