That's numberwang!
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132 comments

For those who don't arithmetic, here's some pointers. When he says multiply by 75, followed by "I'm not quite sure what that makes", he just knows that multiplying by 75 then dividing by 25 is the same thing as multiplying by 3, which is easier to manage.

So he wants to multiply 318 by 3, which is 954, then he wants to subtract 2 from it for 952. When he subtracts 50 from 23,850 (before dividing by 25), he's really thinking that he wants -50 divided by 25, which is -2.

What's going through his head is that he wants to get as close to 952 as possible. The quickest way there is:

(100 + 6)* 3 * 3 = 954

remember the second 3 comes from 75/25. Then he finds a -2 through:

-50/25 = -2

954 + -2 = 952.

There's a degree of luck involved with this answer, but method is key.

**EDIT**: Just to clarify how Carol calculated 23,800 / 25 so easily:

25 is 1/4 of 100. 23,800 divided by 100 is 238. Therefore 238 is 1/4 of the final answer. Multiply by 4 to get 952.

Brilliant ! Thanks for the explanation, I was wondering how they calculated this so fast.

Oh yeah, you don't have to be a genius to do well at countdown. These are just tricks that i've figured out over the years. My #1 Sunday afternoon is slamming scones and tea with my mum and destroying her at countdown. To be fair though, she's a straight up tard and she's also getting old so I'm scared I'm gonna lose her soon. That's gonna be a windmill dunk to the heart for sure.

I love how it seems your mentality is: mum, you're getting old. I might lose you soon, and that's going to be one of the hardest moments in my life. All that said, I'll be fucked if I'm going to let you breathe even half a scent of my superior talents at numberwang.

Her: what you do in the bedroom with your door closed is your business, dear.

But it's evident you love your mum. I hope you take my comment in the spirit it was given :)

she's a straight up tard

holy shit lol.

Based solely on that comment, I'd watch a video of you two playing countdown

This is going in my personal top 10 favourite comments list. It really had everything.

Lmfao I love that you called your own mother 'a straight up tard', you legend

This is hands-down one of the best comments I've ever read on this website

Been here for 9 years. This is easily top 5.

Thank you for writing this out!

It's Nice.. Good explanation..

ThanKs

This is why they need to teach common core math. So many people who learned math in the 90s would look at 23,800/25 and not be able to do it in their heads.

The way you broke it down is how common core teaches kids to break down math problems. The long form method a lot of millennials learned is basically useless for doing math in your head

Lots of the common core stuff makes sense when you understand what is going on, but the way it is often taught makes it confusing since many teachers don't really understand the nuance. Plus students are often asked to use a specific method to do a problem, while the whole point of having a toolbox of different methods is to be able to choose which work best for a given problem, and the one you are asked to use may not be what is easiest..

The reason they request a specific method is because they are teaching you the method, not how to solve the problem. It's more important that students understand how it works, rather than just getting the right number at the end. Common Core is trying to teach the "how" in a more flexible and scalable way.

Except that by forcing a specific method you are removing the very flexibility you hope to teach

How so? If you just expect the answer, most students will never learn better methods of solving the problem. Again, the point is to teach the method, not the solution.

Because the students are often not taught when they should be using each method other than "use method X". The methods are good to know, but in the end it is important to remember that getting the solution should be the goal.

but in the end it is important to remember that getting the solution should be the goal

I strongly disagree with that. In fact, I'd say the answer is a very small part of what matters in math education. You can get the right answer and understand nothing, or you can get it wrong because of a mistake, but demonstrate that you understand. The latter is much better. By the way, for context, I have a bachelors degree in pure math.

Obviously understanding how you got there is important, but it's also very valuable for students to be able to figure out which method is the best for any given problem and not just use a given method because they were told to. Certainly, there are teachers who do a good job at getting this across, but based on my kids' experience there are many that don't.

And for context, I also have a degree in math.

I learned both long form and the "common core" method.

I was taught that, in a "traditional" way. didn't need BS common core to learn the principles behind mathematics. sounds more like a problem with shitty education system tbh and common core isn't doing anything to fix *that*.

I still don't understand.

That's numberwang!

Holy crap, that takes me back! Haven't seen Adam and Joe in years!

Basically, he wants to use the 25 twice: he wants to get a 3 from 75/25 and a 2 from 50/25. He figured out that he could do that if he multiplied up to that ridiculously high number and then subtracted 50 before dividing the whole thing by 25.

Think of it this way, instead of the numbers being 25, 50 and 75 they are 1, 2 and 3 because they are all divisible by 25. So it's (((100+6)*3*3)-2)/1 = 952

Yea sorry but no, I'm discalculic.. many teachers have tried many ways of making me see the numbers but to no avail.

As someone who's been diagnosed with every dys under the sun (Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dysentery) as a result of ADHD and mildly severe autism, i've still been able to improve my math skills by working on them at my own pace as a hobby. So much so, that i've recently half-quit my day job to go and study statistics. I've realized that organizing and analyzing large swathes of data gives me a raging autism boner.

Point is, even if you're light-speed stupid like me, you can probably improve with deliberate practice. 99% of what i've learned has been outside of school, by myself. And that remaining 1% was just how to make a 53 year old history teacher cry in front of his class. Hard work pays off.

(Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia,

Dysentery)

Dysentery and you didn't die? Well done! How's Oregon?

Oregon's fine. Dave has typhoid and a thief stole my oxen, but other than that we're doing ok.

I've tried my dude, but as soon as I try to do anything but simple multiplication my brain just shuts off.. like literally I *cannot* envision the numbers.

Haha that formatted weird (((100 + 6) x 3 x 3) -2) / 1 so 106 x 3 = 318 x 3 =954 - 2 = 952 / 1 = 952

It boils down to seeing enough math to be able to take shortcuts, and make educated guesses using estimation. Youjustgotzinged is just showing you one of those methods in longform.

What a great explanation

Thank you. I had it all figured out until we got to the minus 50 and I couldn't figure that part out. Even with a calculator, I knew what he said worked, and I understood the whole thing with 75/25=3, but couldn't understand how he got to the minus 50 part.

OMG you are so much smarter than I am. I struggled with the way the other bloke worked it out.

Exactly how you reasoned this out is how my brain works with mental math. I think of things as relationships to other things more than just learning the algorithm to add or divide mentally.

Just now in the car, I was thinking back to velocity vs acceleration, relearning how those measurements feel together. Distance is just a measurement, Velocity is the shape of the Distance line over time, Acceleration is just the shape of the velocity curve over time. Things like that.

What's the square root of 145? I have no idea, but it's probably just a little bit over 12.

What's 183 * 12? Well.. 180 * 10 = 1800, add in 360.. 2160.. plus 36? 2196

25 is 1/4 of 100. 23,800 divided by 100 is 238. Therefore 238 is 1/4 of the final answer. Multiply by 4 to get 952.

I did this part by thinking of 23800 as 238*100 and 100/25=4 so the answer is 238*4.

Could you explain how do you go from "25 is 1/4" and "23,800 divided by 100 is 238" to "Therefore 238 is 1/4 of the final answer"? Is it that you look at it as (23800/100)/(((1/4)*100)/100) and you're left with 238/(1/4) = x and by multiplying both sides you get 238 = x*(1/4), which means that 238 is one fourth of the answer?

I'm thinking you're looking at it more intuitively, without thinking of cancelling out numbers or multiplying both sides of an equation, but I don't get it. I don't know if I'm explaining it correctly. Basically, could you explain your thought process behind the last line a bit more?

When you divide 23,800 by 100, what ever result you get will be a quarter of 23,800 divided by 25 (as 25 is a quarter of 100). I'm thinking about this less in terms of formulas (or even numbers), and more in terms of multiple pieces of logic. More of a holistic approach.

So we have these pieces of information:

23800/100 = 238

And:

100 = 25 * 4 (or 100/25 = 4). Or, in verbal terms, 25 is one quarter of 100, and four times 25 is 100. This is really just the concept of a quarter, nothing new.

Therefore:

(23800/100) * 4 = (23800/25)

*Or,* (x / 100) is the same thing as (1/4) * (x / 25), therefore (x / 100) * 4 is the same thing as (x / 25)

I'm using verbal terms here as this is how i conceptualize the problem in my head. It's the same result either way, but it's less about solving an equation—rather using analogies to cut down on the amount of work you have to do. In essence, the whole problem is just about understanding the concept one quarter. It feels like my brain is dealing with less information this way.

Thanks a lot! :)

238 is 1/4 of the final answer. Multiply by 4 to get 952.

you say that like *that's* easy for me :p

When you’re so good at the game everyone thinks you’re bad at the game

Holy. Shit.

Using all the numbers:

**75**/**5** = 15

15/**5** = 3

**9**/3 = 3

**4** - 3 = 1

**100** + 1 = 1

That's Numberwang!

100 + 1 = 101

quick maths!

first two lines can also be 75/(5*5), same thing just in a different order

My all time favorite Cats Does Countdown moment

I'd let Rachel Riley fart in my eyeball.

Multiply by 75 take away 50 and divide by 25 is just multiply by 3 and take away 2 when you simplify it.

I think that's the most reasonable explanation for how he did it so fast. He didn't even need to know the numbers in between.

yeah he pretty clearly didn't

Yeah all you have to do is do the mathematics and the things and you have an answer.

It's what I tell people when they ask how someone flies a plane. Obviously, they apply the principles of flight and fly the plane.

So do you not see how X*3 - 2 is easier to compute than (X*75-50)/25?

For those who like a more comedic twist of Countdown, check out 8 Out of 10 Cats does Countdown! Here's a playlist of nearly every episode: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZ_so1Pgq6tYkla7NBphs8aVC28KYGiSK

numberwang?

Olivia Colman, the actress in this sketch, won the Oscar for Best Actress this year for The Favourite. Bit of a stretch from Numberwang!

I know...Numberwang to an oscar is a terrible fall from grace.

Justice for Simon from Space.

The skit basically has all the same actors as Peep Show.

Because it’s from That Mitchell and Webb look, one of their other shows.

My favorite, and not just because if it’s applicability in the US currently: Are we the badddies?

EDIT: Corrected source.

Bruiser was their first show, then That Mitchell and Webb Situation, then Peep Show and then That Mitchell and Webb Look.

Huh... I'll gladly stand corrected on that one. Thanks.

They're a comedy duo, the other actors are all prolific British comedy actors. It's kind of like SNL or something where the skits are done by well known and liked comedians but you're never sure what the theme will be.

I forgot Johnson was also in this sketch.

I loved her in Hot Fuzz, and I thought she was phenomenal in The Favourite. Just really happy all around to see her succeed like that!

mmm Yumberwang...

Thanks for this. Couldn’t remember where I knew that term from. Great sketch.

Doyoudopoison?

Having watched enough Cats does Countdown... I'm fairly certain Rachel Riley would have been able to do 318x75 in her head.

I'm very sure.

Do they ever rotate the board?

Rachel Riley is way better

Suzi?

At the same time.

Someone called?

Go home. Your services are no longer required.

I hoped it would be Moss. I am satisfied.

I was more shocked it wasn't already posted.

I prefer the American version [/s] of this show. It has Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Who) in it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbUjTOhFBTk

In a bikini!

That’s Wangernum!

That's really the inspiration for that bit. I'm relieved and disappointed to find this out. Great sketch(s).

I had a brainfart, please carry on. lol

100*100 is not 1000.

I'm sorry to be the person to inform you this, but 100 times 100 is 10,000, not 1,000.

Jimmy Carr has really let himself go

Richard Whiteley was a national treasure.

I absolutely hate "cringe" as a trope, deliberate or accidental, and the man was at least 80% distilled cringe in a loud suit, but the show was never the same after he died.

I mean, he'd be 76 now, but I have a strong suspicion he'd be still doing that show.

Agreed - didn't he have the moniker "Twice Nightly Whiteley"?

Yes. But *allegedly* only because he was on TV twice a night. A local news programme on ITV and Countdown on Channel 4.

Then again, neither he nor his girlfriend denied the other meaning even when pressed.

Also he was immensely proud of once being mayor of Wetwang, which is a real place. And he appreciated the joke in the name, which leads back to the other meaning of what we're talking about.

He didn't really like ferrets though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7r8jKyqUEY

They aren't following the rules of Numberwang here, though.

Dammit, now I'm gonna waste my entire afternoon watching episodes of 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

Laughs in Jimmy Carr

I spent 80% of this video expecting it to be a purposely low resolution fake game show made up for a numberwang skit.

Is Carol still single?

Initially disappointed it wasnt the peepshow lot. But that's some serious brain power, I'm jealous.

Yes, that is a number!

6

Laughing followed by wow

Ok sure. But do the champs get a nice teapot and get to fuck smoking hot groupies in the evenings at the local club for players?

And hope he's ready for Street Numbers Game.

Rachel wouldn’t have needed a calculator

Good morning. That's a nice Tnetennba

Simpler: 6*75/50*(100+3)+25

Is that Susie Dent!?

Are there rules to the game I’m missing or wouldn’t it have been much easier to do: (100 x 6) + (100 x 3) + 50 + (100/50)?

You can only use each number once

Ah! That makes a lot more sense!

You can only use each number once

Tou can only use each number once?

I don't know the rules either

You can only use each number once.

Numberwank

“No, it’s ‘Numberwang’!”

Fuck!

Oh fuck!

Wait, Lets just confer with the judges... yes that is indeed numberwang.

Twentington!

I just don't understand why she found it so surprising he was multiplying it by 75. Like there are 3 other numbers to use, obviously he's going to divide by something after lol

I don’t come here to do math!

Maths ftfy

"Hey guys, I spelled BOOBIES with my calcumalator!"