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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Sequence of Numbers

Professor Egghead showed one of his graduate students the following 3 numbers:

1 5 9

and asked him "Do you know what the next one is?"

The student replied, "With only three numbers it would be very difficult to figure out the sequence but it appears to be an arithmetic series with each number being 4 more than the previous one."

Professor Egghead smiled knowingly and said "Some say the fourth number of the sequence is 3 times the second number, others claim it is the sum of the first three. Do you know the fifth, which is also the last number of the series?"

The student wrote four numbers on a piece of paper and was totally baffled as to what the last number could be. "Why would you think I should know this?" he asked.

Professor Egghead answered "Because you like to read."

2 comments:

Joel said...

1st number = 1 = A
2nd number = 5 = E
3rd number = 9 = I
4th number = 15 = 0 (3 x 2nd number or sum of first 3 = 15)
5th number = 21 = U

The Puzzler said...

That's pretty good / pretty tricky.