# Twitter Math Puzzle and Solution

**John Myles White » Statistics**, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers]. (You can report issue about the content on this page here)

Want to share your content on R-bloggers? click here if you have a blog, or here if you don't.

Yesterday I posted a very simple math puzzle to Twitter that I found in Jonathan Baron’s book, Thinking and Deciding. The puzzle is the following:

Show that every number of the form ABC,ABC is divisible by 13.

The puzzle comes up in Baron’s book as an example of an “insight problem” in which one goes from not knowing the answer at all to knowing the complete answering in a sudden moment of insight.

Several people replied to my tweet with solutions: I especially like Will Townes’s solution. In particular, if you’re familiar with modular arithmetic, I like the logic of Will’s answer because it gives a simple generalization. First, represent ABC,ABC as ABC * 1000 + ABC * 1 rather than as ABC * 1001. Then notice that

- 1 = 1 mod 13
- 1000 = -1 mod 13

Thus ABC,ABC = ABC * -1 + ABC * 1 = 0 mod 13. This logic can be easily extended to show that (ABC,ABC,)*ABC,ABC = 0 mod 13 no matter how many times you repeat the ABC,ABC pattern.

**leave a comment**for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog:

**John Myles White » Statistics**.

R-bloggers.com offers

**daily e-mail updates**about R news and tutorials about learning R and many other topics. Click here if you're looking to post or find an R/data-science job.

Want to share your content on R-bloggers? click here if you have a blog, or here if you don't.