Replacement Math

What do you get when you add Jay-Z's 'Problems' to Three Dog Night's 'Loneliest Number'? A bunch of pop culture math questions that weren't on your SAT. Puzzle guy Art Chung proves calculus is a lot less scary when it involves your favorite band.

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Yeah. Welcome our two new contestants everybody.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: In front of me right now is Todd Etter and Brian Gonyor. Hello...

TODD ETTER: Hello.

(APPLAUSE)

BRIAN GONYOR: Hi.

EISENBERG: ...Todd, Brian.

Brian.

GONYOR: Yeah.

EISENBERG: I was doing some research on you. I know that you work at the National Archives, what do you do there?

GONYOR: I'm called an archives technicians. It's basically making sure that the nine-digit number on a form matches the nine-digit number on a box on a shelf and if it's not the same, then I fill out another form.

EISENBERG: You sound...

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: ...like you love your job. Wow.

GONYOR: Basically I work QC in a warehouse, it just sounds a lot nicer when you call it being an archives technician.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Right, it's sort of like the sandwich artist kind of thing, right? The same. All right.

GONYOR: It's the same kind of thing but.

EISENBERG: And do you happen to be a dungeon master?

GONYOR: I am a dungeon master but I don't do fourth edition, I do third.

(SOUNDBITE OF AUDIENCE)

GONYOR: Because I like it better.

EISENBERG: Oh well, I understand. I understand exactly what you're talking about. I don't understand that at all, but what does that mean? Can you tell me what that means?

GONYOR: Every...

EISENBERG: I mean someone hooted and hollered, which is hilarious to me.

GONYOR: Every 8 to 10 years, the company that publishes Dungeons & Dragons releases a new version that changes a lot of the rules and my favorite is third, I was never onboard with fourth.

EISENBERG: Oh, so fourth came out and you were like, I don't think so.

GONYOR: Yeah, I didn't like what they did with...

EISENBERG: As a dungeon master, I say no.

GONYOR: I didn't like what they did with the feet system, you know, I wasn't going to do it.

EISENBERG: Yeah I hear you, the feet system is screwed up this year.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And Todd, you own a personal finance company called The Motley Fool?

ETTER: Well I - Sure, we can say I own it but I - but I don't.

EISENBERG: OK, well d'you work at it?

ETTER: I do, I do actually yes.

EISENBERG: OK, do you want to own it?

ETTER: Sure, why not.

EISENBERG: All right, well done.

ETTER: Do we all want to come in? They can all come in with me right?

EISENBERG: I think a dungeon master can give you a company, so that's one of the powers.

ETTER: That's true. If like a D12 is rolled or something like that.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: There is a lot of 95 sided dice questions, I mean answers going on right now.

ETTER: Yes, OK good. Yeah totally.

EISENBERG: All right. Our puzzle editor extraordinaire, Art Chung, is going to lead you in our next game that we call Replacement Math. Art, what is it about, tell me.

ART CHUNG: In this puzzle, we take a simple arithmetic problem and replace the numbers with common phrases that easily translate into numbers. For example, Jonathan, what number is the Beatles plus the Wise Men?

JONATHAN COULTON: So I would say there were four Beatles, if you don't count Pete Best...

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: ...and three Wise Men and four plus three is seven.

CHUNG: That is correct. That is an easy question, because Jonathan's a musician. You're going to a little harder questions.

COULTON: Thanks.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Not funny.

CHUNG: When you ring in -

(LAUGHTER)

CHUNG: When you ring in, please show your work, just like in elementary school and walk it through just like Jonathan did. Whoever gets the most points will move on to our Ask Me One More final round at the end of the show. Do you guys understand?

CONTESTANT: All right.

Yeah.

CHUNG: Great. Here's your first question. Jay-Z's problems plus Three Dog Night's loneliest number. Brian.

GONYOR: 99 problems plus one is the loneliest number is 100.

CHUNG: That is correct, 100.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Yes.

CHUNG: Your next question. Ways to leave your lover, minus the rules for dating my teenager daughter?

EISENBERG: Their hands are poised.

CHUNG: They're shaking but no - Oh Brian.

GONYOR: 50 ways minus ten rules equals 40?

CHUNG: That's correct math but not the correct answer.

(LAUGHTER)

GONYOR: Oh.

CHUNG: That's funny how that worked.

EISENBERG: Excellent math though, excellent math.

CHUNG: Excellent math.

EISENBERG: Yeah, that was remarkable.

CHUNG: Todd? You didn't have to ring in.

EISENBERG: But I like that you did. I like that you did.

ETTER: Let's go with 42. 50 ways to leave your lover minus eight rules of dating equals 42.

CHUNG: Something, something, that's right, 42, that was really good.

EISENBERG: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

ETTER: That was right?

CHUNG: Yes.

ETTER: Always go with the universal answer to everything I guess.

CHUNG: That's right, that's right.

EISENBERG: Yeah, but Brian has - Brian just has ten reasons why you can't...

ETTER: Well there are a lot of nerds here tonight.

CHUNG: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF AUDIENCE)

CHUNG: Roger Maris' record home runs in a season, plus Michael Jordan's retired Bulls uniform number. Todd.

ETTER: 84.

CHUNG: Can you show your mouth?

ETTER: 61 home runs plus 23 jersey number, equals 84.

CHUNG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

CHUNG: We are all tied up. Next question. The number of apostles raised to the power of Eddie Money's Tickets to Paradise. Todd.

ETTER: I hope that was done. I'm going to say 12 apostles raised to the power of Two Tickets to Paradise is 144.

CHUNG: That is correct.

ETTER: Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

CHUNG: We are all tied up, so here we go.

EISENBERG: Wow, all right.

CHUNG: The Dalmatians plus the Loof Balloons, divided by Ali Baba's Thieves. Brian.

GONYOR: 101 Dalmatians plus 99 Loof Balloons equals 200. Divided by 40 thieves is five.

CHUNG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Brian, you are our winner, you are going onto our final Ask Me One More round at the end of the show. Congratulations.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: What a fantastic game though, you guys were amazing. Give them a hand.

(APPLAUSE)

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