Saturday, September 16, 2000
M I N D  G A M E S

The number of Satan

THE number 666, which is a simple difference and sum of the first three 6th powers ó 666 = 16 - 26 + 36 ó is called the number of Satan. God, being the ultimate democrat, allowed Satan the right to influence people, but on the condition that he should warn them before approaching. Since all the lawyers were in hell, they helped Satan find a clause to do this in a disguised manner. "Tell your people to beware of me whenever they see the number 666," Satan tells God.

"Why is 666 so special?" says one of Godís angels whose mathematics was poor. "Well boy, it is special in many ways. It is equal to the sum of its digits plus the cubes of its digits: 666 = 6 + 6 + 6 + 6≥ + 6≥ + 6≥. The sum of the squares of the first 7 primes is 666: 666 = 2≤ + 3≤ + 5≤ + 7≤ + 11≤ + 13≤ + 17≤. The number 666 is also the sum of two consecutive palindromic primes (prime numbers which read the same forward and backward) ó 666 = 313 + 353."

"If you write the first 6 Roman numerals, in order from largest to smallest, you get 666: DCLXVI = 666. English or Romans, Satan influences all." "If the letter A is defined to be equal to 36 which is 6*6, B=37, C=38, and so on, then the sum of the letters in the word SUPERSTITIOUS is 666."

"The deal is over, we should move now, whatís the time?" the angel asks Satan. "It is six minutes and six seconds past six," Satan replies. "Three sixes!" the angel thought and ran away as fast as he could.


Little odd things

"POOF! it was a long run," says the angel, after catching up with God. "Almighty, are there any numbers that are dear to you?" he asks. "You may not be a good mathematician, but you are curious, which is good for you. I know that most students are scared not only of mathematics, but also of approaching their teachers," says God. "All numbers, including 666, are dear to me, but if you ask me to choose two, I would say that 9 and 11 are rather magical?"

"If you have a two-digit number and you want to know what is the absolute value of the difference of that number and the number we get after its digits are transposed (Like 73 and 37), there is a quick solution." If you take the digits 7 and 3 and subtract 3 from 7, you will get 4. Take this 4 and multiply it by the magical number 9; you will have the answer (36). You can do this with any two-digit number. Just take the larger digit and subtract from the smaller digit.

Now, if you want to use the same digits, but need to know the sum of these two numbers, there is another "magical" solution.


For any such two-digit number, if you add the digits (3 + 7) and then multiply it by 11, you have the answer you seek.



which is equal to 37+73.

"What if we want to do this with a three-digit number?" the curious angel asks. God says, "In this case, we do not transpose the middle digit, just the first and the last."


Since the middle digit doesnít change, we leave it out of the formula. In subtraction this becomes 0 ("Thatís good because I donít like six anymore," angels thinks). If you take the absolute value of the first digit minus the last digit and then multiply by 99, you will have the answer.



ó Aditya Rishi