2019. Is it two thousand nineteen, or twenty nineteen? How does it sound to you? “It’s just a number – the number of the year,” you say? Hmm. I think your saying that might mean poetry or just rhythm-and-rhyme aren’t your fortes. Right? For – and not a lot of people know this – there’s a phenomenon known as digital poetry. There are all different kinds of digital poetry, as a quick glance at that Wikipedia page will show you. One kind I find rather intriguing is the one where numbers are substituted for the words of the works of the great poets – and you need to work out who that poet is based on the way the numbers are pronounced – which words are stressed, the number of syllables, and so on.
Here, for example, are some numbers that, when spoken, reflect the poetry style of Alexander Pushkin (at least, in Russian:):
17 30 48
140 10 01
140 3 501
I wonder, does it work the other way round? I mean, can a poem be made up about 2019? Might there be some budding digital poets among you, dear readers, who might be able to conjure up a poem about 2019?
Meanwhile, for the mathematicians and physicists among you, my traditional annual arithmetic puzzler…
I hope you remember the rules. If not:
You need to get the number of the current year – this year being 2019 of course – using the four main arithmetic operations [+, -, *, ÷], plus parentheses [(, )’], and the figures 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1; and not in any order but in the order given [10 down to 1] – and with no joining up of the numbers to make bigger numbers (e.g., 1 and 2 making 12).
((10 + 9 – 8) * 7) + (6 + 5) * (4 – 3 + 2) + 1 = 111
Hmm. That gives 111. But I wanted 2019.
All righty. Try it! Who does it first is the winner!
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 = 2019
Did you do it? Well done!
Now, let’s continue the fun by upping the difficulty a bit: let’s drop the 10: