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  1. sam johnson
    sam johnson April 26, 2012 5:33 am

    I just posted a comment and I think I posted it in the wrong spot lol anyway,then

    My answer is: 2. Because 5555 =0, 2222=0, 1111=0. So the values of 5, 2, & 1 are all 0. Then the only number left is an 8. Then I looked at the first number in the first row: 8809=6. So 0000 = 4 and 9999 = 4. Therefore the value of 4 & 9 is 1. So if 8809=6 then 8 must = 2: 2+2+1+1=6. Then the 2nd number in the 2nd colum is 8193=3 so we know 1111 = 0 meaning 1=0 and 3333 = 0 meaning 3=0 and 9=1 so if 8=2 we get 2+0+1+0=3 which is the same as 8193=3
    So 2581 = 2 or 0+0+2+0 =2
    This took me 20-30 minutes because I had to forget the ‘real’ values of the numbers. If this is correct.
    Where can I check this out online to see if I’m correct?

  2. Claire
    Claire April 26, 2012 6:45 am

    sam johnson — I’ll post a link to the answer when more people have had a chance at it. For now, I’ll just say that your answer tempts me to give a clue … but I’m going to resist the temptation. 🙂

  3. Claire
    Claire April 26, 2012 6:59 am

    I decided I wasn’t really being fair & might send people off on wild goose chases. So … sam’s answer is correct. But his process falls into the “programmer” category.

  4. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal April 26, 2012 7:11 am

    It’s just a count of how many circles the numbers have.

  5. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal April 26, 2012 7:11 am

    Oh, and yes…2

  6. Claire
    Claire April 26, 2012 7:17 am

    Bingo! Kent nailed the simple solution. That’s what you get for hanging out with a four-year-old, Kent. 🙂

  7. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal April 26, 2012 7:36 am

    After I posted that I worried about the statement it made about my mental abilities…

    (I almost called Emily in to help me, but decided that would be cheating. I was just thinking “OK, if pre-schoolers can do it, it probably has nothing to do with math, but with the shapes or simple counting”, and then I just saw it.)

  8. sam johnson
    sam johnson April 26, 2012 8:05 am

    Omg how many circles… so simple! Here I am assigning values and blah blah blah…ahahahahaha. I feel like Kent was a citizen and I was the government trying to solve the same problem! Could I have made it any more complicated?

  9. Johnathan
    Johnathan April 26, 2012 8:06 am

    I don’t know if I had some subconcious memory of having seen this problem before, but this took me about a minute of thinking before it dawned on me.

    It did take considering, though, that a 4-year old would not be using math to solve this.

    And yes, I *am* a programmer 🙂

  10. Byron
    Byron April 26, 2012 9:02 am

    2 minutes…

    Think like a 2 year old.

  11. David
    David April 26, 2012 9:10 am

    It took me close to 10 minutes, but I realized that four year olds being able to solve it had to be a major clue…. Just had to try to think like a four year old again! And yeah, I am also a programmer!

  12. EN
    EN April 26, 2012 9:57 am

    Thanks Kent, I was also looking for the simple solution and as one who has trouble with my check book wasn’t going to bother with anything complicated. 😉

  13. Frost
    Frost April 26, 2012 10:07 am

    After I looked for a pattern and didn’t see an obvious one, I just relaxed and quit over thinking it. Happy to say I figured it out in under 10 minutes.

  14. Jim
    Jim April 26, 2012 10:36 am

    That was fun. Another programmer, and the 4-year old clue was very useful. I started out thinking numerology, adding digits. No go, even with just the leading or trailing digit of the answer (altho a few worked out). Nothing seemed useful with column arithmetic. Next I thought about even/odd numbers, and that got me quickly scanning the whole table. Ah, bingo. It’s as simple as counting the “loops” in each number. It’s how I got from even/odd numbers to the graphical representation and counting attributes of them that really catches my fancy. No idea how that happened, but now I’m going to go find a good book on how the brain works and the thinking process. Wheee!

  15. mslee
    mslee April 26, 2012 2:10 pm

    took about 2 minutes. Thought the 6’s were the answer at first. they are but only the bottom half.

    Answer 2

  16. FishOrMan
    FishOrMan April 26, 2012 3:08 pm

    Two. And figured it out in about thirty seconds. Most of that time rereading the directions. Have to think like a preschooler…preschoolers don’t see numbers, just lines curves dashes and CIRCLES on a page. I might have an unfair advantage being a stay-at-home dad with two of the geatest, 15 months and 3 years old.

  17. Roberta X
    Roberta X April 26, 2012 6:17 pm

    2. In about 20 sec. But only with the huge hint! 🙂

  18. furrydoc
    furrydoc May 2, 2012 8:45 am

    I got it in about 3 min. In my line of work thinking outside the box is necessary.

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