Sunday, February 7, 2010

Notable Numbers - Random Trivia Answers

  • A1) 4 ("four"). In Spanish, 5 ("cinco") fits the bill.
  • A2) 40 ("forty"). Among the ordinal numbers, only "first" is in alphabetical order. "One" is the only integer in reverse alphabetical order.
  • A3) 1,000 ("one thousand"). "One hundred and one" is not proper in the U.S., as the "and" should be omitted. The lowest integer spelled with two 'a's is 1,000,000,000,100,000 ("one quadrillion one hundred thousand"). [Correction: this should be 1,000,000,000,001,000 ("one quadrillion one thousand".]
  • A4) 1,000,000,000 ("one billion"). The first 'b' doesn't appear until we reach ten digits.
  • A5) 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ("one octillion"). The first 'c' doesn't appear until we reach twenty-eight digits. 100 ("one hundred") has the first 'd'.
  • A6) 1, 12, 2, and 11. 1+12=2+11 and "one+twelve" anagrams to "two+eleven" (this was noted by author Lewis Carroll, although I don't know if he was the first person to notice it).
  • A7) 8 ("eight"). "Eighteen" and "eighty" are the next two integers in the dictionary. "Eight" is still first if you expand the range to 1,000, although "eight hundred" would take over second place.
  • A8) 2 ("two"). "Twenty-two" and "twenty-three" are the previous two. "Zero", which is the only integer name with a 'z', beats them all if you expand the range by one on the low end. "Two hundred two" is last if you increase the high end to 1,000. Going up as high as we have names for, the last number is "two vigintillion two undecillion two trillion two thousand two hundred two".
  • A9) 1,005 ("one thousand five"). Just five above the first 'a', you get one 'a', two 'e's, one 'i', two 'o's, and one 'u'. You only need to add 20 to include a 'y' (1,025 is "one thousand twenty-five") or 79 higher to get the five vowels in alphabetical order (1,084 is "one thousand eighty-four"), but to get all six in alphabetical order requires an astonishing leap to 1,000,000,000,008,020 ("one quadrillion eight thousand twenty").
  • A10) 17 ("seventeen"). Only eight integers have this feature (2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 12 are the others).
  • A11) 88 ("eighty-eight"). 89 ("eighty-nine"), 90-anything ("ninety*"), 100 ("[one] hundred"), 1,000 ("[one] thousand"), and all the larger units from 1,000,000 on up (all "*illion"s) have at least one 'n'.
  • A12) 5,000 ("five thousand"). All of the other integers in the surprisingly short list are below 100: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 40, 46, 60, 61, 64, 80, and 84.

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