Numbers - 30
Friday 30 December 1994
Thirty, in ancient times, was the minimum age for a tribune in ancient Rome ("A man at 30 must be either a fool or a physician" - Tiberius), and was the age, according to biblical tradition, at which both Moses and Jesus began their public preaching. In more recent times, writers have expressed differing opinions of the effects of reaching the age of thirty: "For a young man, a woman of thirty has irresistible attractions." (Balzac, The Woman of Thirty, 1832).
"Thirty - the promise of a decade of loneliness, a thinning list of single men to know, a thinning briefcase of enthusiasm, thinning hair." (Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925)
Thirty is also the number of edges on an icosahedron; the number of edges on a dodecahedron; and the number of pieces of silver for which Judas betrayed Jesus Christ.
COMPETITION: bridge - bride - ride - side - dies - does - doss - dross - dress - cress - chess: an 11-word chain from bridge to chess. Each step involves one of the following operations: a) omission of a letter without altering the order of the others.
b) addition of a letter, anywhere in the word.
c) changing a letter.
d) making an anagram.
Three prizes of the Larousse Dictionary of Scientists will be awarded for the shortest word-chains constructed according to the above rules, leading from NUMBERS to LETTERS. Preference will be given to those using words in common usage.
16 December answers: If J times MAJOR equals RESIGNS, the value of MAJOR is 89403 (4 x 89403 = 357612). David Davies (Melton Mowbray), Paul Terry (Wokingham) and Mrs H E Kochmann (Basildon) win the Chambers Dictionary of World History.
Life & Style blogs
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn voters most likely to believe 'world is controlled by a secretive elite'
- 1 Caitlyn Jenner car crash: Driver who died in collision sued by surviving passengers for $18.5m
- 3 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 5 The 20 toughest job interview questions in the world
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...