John Derbyshire's March Diary on National Review Online


As he often does, today John Derbyshire closes his column with a brainteaser:

Augustus De Morgan, the 19th-century English mathematician (whose name, as Martin Gardner pointed out, is an anagram of "O Gus, tug a mean surd!"), noticed that he was x years old in the year x2. Which year was he born in?
The answer appears to be 1806. If he was born in 1806, he would be 43 in 1849, which is the square of 43.

I'm pleased to have gotten this much of it correct, considering how little use I've ever had for mathematics. Beyond a deep and moving study of probability theory, gambling being the only use I've ever had for math, I admit to a remarkable ignorance on the topic.

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