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Finding the nine...

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This challenging puzzle comes from our good friend James Grime — thanks James!

Find a nine digit numbers, using the numbers 1 to 9, and using each number once without repeats, such that; the first digit is a number divisible by 1. The first two digits form a number divisible by 2; the first three digits form a number divisible by 3 and so on until we get a nine digit number divisible by 9.

You might try, for example, the number 923,156,784. But this number doesn't work — the first three digit number, 923, is not divisible by 3. Can you find a nine digit number that works?

Hint: you don't need a computer to find it. Try looking at your clock instead....


James Grime is a lecturer and public speaker on mathematics, and can be mostly found touring the country on behalf of the Millennium Mathematics Project carting his trusty Enigma Machine. If you'd like James and the machine to visit your school, visit the Enigma website.

You can also read more from James in his article, Curious Dice.

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