Weekly Quiz: 39

Numbers! Amazing Numbers! (REVISED BELOW)

RESULT:  We DO have a few mathematicians!

Denny Dobry “Kirby” was in first with the correct answer. Sheila Holtgrieve was just slightly later with a more expansive correct answer and we will publish her solution as the answer:

111 Baker Street is the actual address of 221b according to Dr. Gary Chandler Biggs.  111 is a palindrome (reads the same forwards as backwards).  111,111,111 squared is 12,345,678,987,654,321.  This is also a palindrome.  Written out it is:  Twelve quadrillion, three hundred forty-five trillion, six hundred seventy-eight billion, nine hundred eighty-seven million, six hundred fifty-four thousand, three hundred twenty-one.  Add a two to the last number and you get 221.

Pascal’s Triangle is also a form of palindrome.  The triangle can be used to work with the binomial theorem.  Professor Moriarty wrote a treatise on the binomial theorem “At the age of 21 he wrote a treatise upon the binomial theorem, which has had a European vogue.” FINA, W., p. 470.

Note that the last two numbers of 111,111,111 squared are 21, the age that Moriarty wrote the treatise.

Congratulations to Denny and Sheila!  You can’t make this stuff up!


This week’s quiz concerns numbers, specifically 221B Baker Street and the history of the numbers of that address.

Our favourite house in London with its seventeen steps that our good Dr Watson called “221B Baker Street” was actually “30 York Place,” but York Place was a very short street joining Baker Street and Upper Baker Street, and was renamed at a later date.  The number of the house written of by Dr Watson is known today as 111 Baker Street.

Mrs Hudson’s house was definitively identified by Dr Gray Chandler Briggs, from his discovery in 1930 of a building with the plaque “Camden House” affixed to its outside.  As we know from “The Adventure of the Empty House,” it is directly across from our beloved 221B.

The literary agent, Doyle, chalked it all up to coincidence. However, these coincidences (or realities) support an almost mystical numeric fact.

If we accept 111 as the original Holmesian/Watsonian address, this leads us to a very interesting numeric quiz:

111 is a palindromic number.  Now, multiply this by itself. Look at that number.  It is also a palindromic number.  Now, square the number 111,111,111 and what do you get? Notice that number backwards. Isn’t that astounding?

You CAN do this. It’s just multiplication!  Buttons figured it out on a piece of foolscap with a pencil.

Express the answer as a number and in words.  Solutions by Wednesday, October 1, 2014.  Do we have mathematically-inclined Quiz Masters? Who will be first?