Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Googling Arithmetic Limerick

While using Google to scour the Internet for poems on arithmetic and algebra, I came across the following three limericks. The first is similar in spirit to the Carroll's poem and the next two are similar to Diophantus puzzle in my earlier posts. 

Leigh Mercer, a noted British wordplay, wrote the following (excerpt from Word Ways, 1980, pp. 36):

A dozen, a gross, and a score 
Plus three times the square root of four 
Divided by seven 
Plus five times eleven 
Is nine squared and not a bit more.

Interestingly, Google's omnipotent search engine can "solve" this limerick automatically by entering the following slightly modified verse into the Google search bar:

(a dozen, and a gross, and a score plus three times the square root of four) divided by seven plus five times eleven

The following two are by David Pleacher, a retired mathematician:

Said a certain young lady named Gwen 
of her tally of smitten young men, 
"One less and three more 
Divided by four 
Together give one more than ten." 

How many boyfriends had she? Answer here.

Some freshmen from Trinity Hall 
Played hockey with a wonderful ball; 
They found that two times its weight, 
Plus weight squared, minus eight, 
Gave "nothing" in ounces at all. 

What was the weight of the ball? Answer here.

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